June 17, 2012 by Timothy W. Coleman
Bottom Line Up Front
Faced with an oil-export based economy, intra factional clashes coupled together by a feeble and corrupt centralized government, Nigeria has struggled to become more than a transitional democracy. Armed groups and violence, fueled by disputes over oil revenue sharing efforts have exacerbated internal security problems and continue to undermine domestic stability as well as thwart progress to establish democratic norms.
In May, Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the Governor of the State of Edo was killed in an apparent assassination. The attack on the PPS occurred at his private residence, little more than 3 months before the July 14 Gubernatorial elections in the state of Edo. The successful assassination follows two unsuccessful suspected attempts on the Governor of Edo and on the Governor’s Commissioner for Information. It does not appear that this is the work of the Islamist terrorist organization, Boko Haram, instead it is probable that internal constituencies and political machinations are likely to be blamed. This raises the probable specter of further near-term turmoil in Nigeria.
June 17, 2012 by George Grevett
This week Italy was carted into the spotlight of the Eurozone crisis as its benchmark 10 year borrowing costs moved above 6 per cent for the first time since January and with Italy now beginning to suffer as contagion spreads from the currency block’s other problem areas it is clear that tensions are rising in the Euro area.
In a further sign of disunity between the Eurozone’s Latin bloc and other EMU member states on Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, was forced to reject claims from the Austrian Finance Minster that Italy would require financial assistance. Italy is now seen as the final battleground of the euro project with any bailout for Italy likely to be the final nail in the coffin of the Eurozone.
June 17, 2012 by Deepak Tripathi
The “global war on terror” which began under the former Bush administration more than a decade ago has taken a new and more sinister turn. We now know, mostly as a result of New York Times reporting, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will” that President Obama routinely vets and reviews profiles of suspected terrorists before military strikes are ordered in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.
In May the NYT reported, “Beside the president at every step is his counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, who is variously compared by colleagues to a dogged police detective, tracking terrorists from his cavelike office in the White House basement, or a priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama, echoing the president’s attempt to apply the ‘just war’ theories of Christian philosophers to a brutal modern conflict.”