Damned by Riches: How Afghanistan’s Mineral Wealth Undermines NATO Mission

June 27, 2012 by

It is like something out of a movie: deep in the archives of a war torn country a team of intrepid scientists discovers forgotten maps leading to buried treasure. Fantastical as it seems, such a scene played out in 2004 when American geologists found a cache of charts in the Afghan Geological Survey’s library dating from the days of Soviet occupation. Returned to the library after the NATO invasion, these Russian charts were protected in geologists’ homes through the tumultuous 1990s’ and for good reason.

The Mysterious François Hollande

June 27, 2012 by

French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party and its allies secured an absolute majority in the country’s recent parliamentary elections. After months of non-stop campaigning, the Socialists now must govern. The win provides Hollande the political firepower to push through the pro-growth agenda he argues Europe needs to end its three-year old debt crisis, and his solid domestic position makes him a pivotal player in European politics. Given his new-found importance in both domestic and European circles, it is somewhat surprising how little is known about Hollande and his ideology.

The Predicament of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

June 27, 2012 by

When Lebanese security reportedly killed 18-year-old Ahmad al-Qasim over a documentation dispute in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, the camp’s Palestinian refugee population erupted in anger and dismay. Within a few days of the June 15 incident, the outrage had spread and more refugees were killed. Fouad Muhi’edeen Lubany was killed on June 18, as a crowd of mourning refugees attempted to bury the first victim of Nahr al-Bared, near Tripoli in the north. Another victim of the violence was Khaled al-Youssef, who was shot in Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp, near Saida, about 30 miles south of Beirut. More Palestinians were reportedly injured, along with three Lebanese security officers.