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Russia

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Edward Snowden As the intrigue surrounding Edward Snowden’s whereabouts and his travels around the world continue unabated, the furore over his leaking of classified US programmes to spy on users of the internet continues to grow. An ex-CIA contractor with access to vast amounts of top secret information at the US National Security Agency, Snowden’s disclosures are creating waves around the world, raising memories of the Cold War and leading to serious pressure on bilateral relations between the US on the one hand and Russia and China on the other. The disclosures also add further pressure on the US government

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By Manu Kant You don’t cry when the bourgeois state puts your loved ones to death.   I didn’t become emotional. I am sure neither the teenage son of Afzal cried. I am sure Tabassum didn’t cry.   You either erupt in a spontaneous revolt and wage an unremitting battle until the victory or you just become stock-still turn your thoughts into a grand memorial to the departed one.   I didn’t cry. Perhaps, I had no reason to cry. Afzal Guru was a Kashmiri and I am from India. Afzal Guru was a Muslim by faith and I was

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Obituary Eric Hobsbawm, 1917-2012 By Shreya Goswami [D]efining an ‘Age’ isn’t a difficult job: it is the length of time that a person has lived and also a distinct period of history. Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm’s life marked an ‘Age’ in both these senses. For all those who are students of the Social Sciences, his name has been a reference point for the history of the nineteenth and twentieth century. For those who are not acquainted with his works will not know what a loss his passing is. It is true that historians are fixated on the tiniest details of

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 By C. Rohan In 1971, after the creation of Bangladesh, India emerged as the leading stakeholder in South Asian affairs. This stake hold further strengthened with India’s first nuclear test in 1974. India was at the peak of its hierarchy of power in South Asian politics. But this remained for a short time. In 1979, the intervention of USSR changed the geometry of the region. The cold war between USA and USSR came into the South Asian region. Due to this India’s power diminished in the region. USSR’s retreat from Afghanistan in 1989 and end of the cold war in

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A map of a divided Kashmir. (Courtesy: openDemocracy.net) In the wake of the Arab Spring, many have looked at the Middle East Region with amazement and genuine hope for a better future for the plagued Arabs. Giants such as Mubarak and Qadaffi have fallen, and as transition governments prepare for transition to democracy, the culprit lies in the detail. For the last hundred years or so, the Middle East has not demonstrated functional democracies. With the exception of Israel (and perhaps the Palestinian Authority), the Middle East is one of the least democratic and most repressive regions in the world.

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Imagine for a moment that somewhere in the middle of Texas there was a large foreign military base, say Chinese or Russian. Imagine that thousands of armed foreign troops were constantly patrolling American streets in military vehicles. Imagine they were here under the auspices of “keeping us safe” or “promoting democracy” or “protecting their strategic interests.” Imagine that they operated outside of US law, and that the Constitution did not apply to them. Imagine that every now and then they made mistakes or acted on bad information and accidentally killed or terrorized innocent Americans, including women and children, most of

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           By Kim Andersen Six months after South Sudan voted for independence of the Muslim dominated North Sudan, the new born country declared its independence the 9th of July. As for all newborn, the reception is pivotal, and the reception of South Sudan has been good. The Danish government declared South Sudan its primary task. Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has also welcomed South Sudan, which, according to Khaleej Times, he “wishes it much success”. Big players such as China and the United States too recognise the new state. Especially China wants to be South Sudan’s “friend”. Another Security Council member,

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