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Madrid Prepares to Impose Direct Rule on Catalonia

By Jamie Dettmer  Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Wednesdayappeared poised to suspend the semi-autonomy of the country's restive northeast region of Catalonia and close its parliament in a move that risks triggering civil unrest, deepening Spain's worst political crisis since a failed coup four decades ago. The Spanish leader, who heads a center-right

In Catalonia, a Declaration of Independence From Spain (Sort of)

By Raphael Minder and Patrick Kingsley The Catalan secession crisis took a confusing new turn on Tuesday night, after the leader of Catalonia made a perplexing speech in which he appeared to declare independence from Spain, before immediately suspending that decision to allow for more “dialogue” with leaders in Madrid. For days, anticipation had been building

Three ways China and America could go to war in the South China Sea

Could this really happen?  Note: As Denny Roy has argued, China is playing offense in the South China Sea. By establishing facts on the ground (indeed, establishing “ground”), it is creating a situation in which normal U.S. behavior looks like destabilizing intervention. What’s less than clear is that Beijing fully understands the risks

Kenya’s Raila Odinga quits election re-run

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of October's election re-run. Mr Odinga said his withdrawal would give the electoral commission enough time to introduce reforms that will help deliver a more credible election. The Supreme Court annulled the result of the original 8 August poll, which saw Uhuru Kenyatta declared

Despite the Fearmongering, Russia is actually relying less on nuclear weapons

Nukes will likely lose further importance as the Kremlin develops precision-guided missiles In recent months there has much hysteria in Washington about Russia allegedly lowering its nuclear threshold and particularly about Moscow’s arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons. However, there is little evidence that Moscow has lowered its nuclear threshold — nor

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