Kitchen-Table Politics

NEED TO KNOW Kitchen-Table Politics INDIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1ac703d1-8192-40be-95ea-427a8f7ed9ee.png"] The upcoming parliamentary election in India is expected to go well for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Surveys show that Indians are concerned about unemployment, inflation, and other kitchen-table issues, reported Reuters. But a majority of...

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Gangland Elections

NEED TO KNOW Gangland Elections CROATIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/51841b29-ea16-4792-be7e-e5a9b7adc01d.png"] Zoran Milanović caused a stir last month when he announced his candidacy for Croatia’s parliament as a member of the Social Democratic Party – with the goal of becoming prime minister. The problem was that Milanović was the president of Croatia when...

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The Cost of Allegiance

NEED TO KNOW The Cost of Allegiance SOLOMON ISLANDS [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3c7e70b3-a24d-4f3a-95d2-795b0355ebe6.png"] Parliamentary and local elections in the Solomon Islands on April 17 are yet another example of how domestic politics in Pacific countries have become proxy battles between China and the US. In 2022, three years after he rescinded his...

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Like Father Like Son

NEED TO KNOW Like Father Like Son TOGO [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/bb466bd7-9e9a-7c5d-0be4-ffae7064b9b9.png"] For years, Togolese citizens have been calling for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbé. The man has held the office since 2005, but his critics say his political machine stretches beyond those 19 years – his father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma,...

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The Wedge Between Two Giants

NEED TO KNOW The Wedge Between Two Giants MALDIVES [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/e808e12a-9c97-7e3a-2d92-f3b344e1fae9.png"] In January, the president of the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, suspended ex-Deputy Youth Minister Mariyam Shiuna for her disparaging remarks about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The move came as Muizzu was preparing to order Indian troops to leave...

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Pointillistic Terror

NEED TO KNOW Pointillistic Terror WORLD [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/486ddb7e-3777-4543-ab44-3536360a3ce9.png"] Russian officials continue to blame the March 24 terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall in Moscow on Ukraine, PBS News Hour wrote. But American intelligence officials say they told the Russians that the Islamic State terrorist group planned to carry out...

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Stuck in Celestial Hades

NEED TO KNOW Stuck in Celestial Hades SYRIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/e4901088-a8f1-4f67-bb93-075f2af0bff8.png"] Residents of the upscale Mazzeh neighborhood in the Syrian capital of Damascus were stunned when an airstrike recently reduced the Iranian consulate to rubble. Thirteen people, including two generals and five others in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, perished in...

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The Third Wheel

NEED TO KNOW The Third Wheel SOUTH KOREA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/96aac4ab-2540-4b79-8f3f-2a21e22e27fe.png"] Politicians from the ruling People Power Party and the opposition Democratic Party have traditionally held the top offices in South Korea. Currently, the two parties hold 270 out of 300 seats in the legislature, for example. However, only 24 percent of...

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Sowing Justice

NEED TO KNOW Sowing Justice LIBERIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9eb32998-6471-45a3-a560-2a676df24771.png"] A French court recently sentenced Kunti Kamara, a former rebel leader in Liberia, to 30 years in prison for war crimes during the West African country’s first civil war between 1989 and 1997. Kamara, now 49, committed “acts of torture and inhuman...

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No Occupancy

NEED TO KNOW No Occupancy PERU [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/7d13971f-19d8-4bc2-ac9e-119d2f349be4.png"] Many Peruvians lost respect for Dina Boluarte when she campaigned as left-wing President Pedro Castillo’s running mate, but became a business-friendly conservative when right-wing Peruvian lawmakers removed Castillo from office in 2022, elevating Vice President Boluarte to the South American country’s...

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Walking Sideways

NEED TO KNOW Walking Sideways HONDURAS [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/5e2a67ee-c113-425a-b7dc-9cb08a72f95e.png"] A federal court recently convicted former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández of conspiring to traffic cocaine to the US, as well as on two weapons charges. When he is sentenced in late June, he will face 40 years to life in...

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Putin-ification

NEED TO KNOW Putin-ification KYRGYZSTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/766aa12d-4910-4bb3-a204-adba72f724f9.png"] Between 2005 and 2020, the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan had five presidential transitions of power. Three occurred due to widespread protests and civil unrest. Two occurred through peaceful and democratic means. Now current Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, who won 80 percent of...

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A Cut of Control

NEED TO KNOW A Cut of Control GAMBIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/89b5a0c0-046d-402b-bc1b-96a8d9ab5730.png"] The Gambia banned female genital mutilation in 2015 because officials said the tradition of partially removing girls’ genitalia violated human rights. It didn’t, however, enforce it until last year. That’s when the trouble began. Now, lawmakers in the tiny West African...

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Blazing Furnace

NEED TO KNOW Blazing Furnace VIETNAM [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3f17a3ec-f2fd-42ee-b8c2-dd23d117cb41.png"] Although the president of Vietnam, Vo Van Thuong, resigned on March 20 for undisclosed reasons, he allegedly ran afoul of corruption laws. He is Vietnam’s second president to leave office early in two years. Former President Nguyen Xuan Phuc resigned from...

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Warrior Class

NEED TO KNOW Warrior Class ISRAEL [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2f7ce1b6-fa2d-e80d-cdee-e2c83f69c720.png"] Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip has stirred controversy worldwide, less so at home. But now, Israelis are arguing over who among them should be fighting. The Israeli Supreme Court last week ordered the Israeli government to cut off funding from ultra-Orthodox...

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The Return

NEED TO KNOW The Return SPAIN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9867eeee-5129-4a23-af3d-b9c85aeb55a9.png"] A plan to forgive Catalan separatists in Spain might have seemed like a political masterstroke when it was first conceived, but the future for Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his minority government in Madrid is still far from certain. The exiled...

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Echoes of a Boom

NEED TO KNOW Echoes of a Boom MARSHALL ISLANDS [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9f508d01-33bf-4d23-9d94-4e9368a01a70.png"] March 1 is Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day in the South Pacific. In the Marshall Islands, however, it is Nuclear Survivors’ Day. It is a day of anger, a day of grief. On this day, islanders recall the 67...

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Last Stop Before Paradise

NEED TO KNOW Last Stop Before Paradise TUNISIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1f262cf6-0ed8-4367-aeca-5f0f2b6684d0.png"] Sixteen-year-old Adam migrated with his father and younger brother from Sierra Leone in West Africa to Tunisia on the Mediterranean coast two years ago. Today, after their father was arrested in Algeria, the two brothers live on the street...

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Iron Junta

NEED TO KNOW Iron Junta GUINEA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/963d6fc3-90db-4090-ad9a-da882d906f12.png"] The leader of the junta that runs Guinea, Gen. Mamadi Doumbouya, recently sacked the head of the state electricity company and his deputies. Doumbouya, who read the announcement on national television, made the decision after power cuts triggered deadly protests in the...

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Refusing to Collapse

NEED TO KNOW Refusing to Collapse VENEZUELA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/f52c66cd-9299-42e6-acd8-f970f62c524b.png"] President Nicolás Maduro seems likely to breeze through Venezuela’s July 28 general election. He recently won the nomination of his political party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, with little or no opposition, reported the Associated Press. He also faces no...

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