Peter's Feed
Feb 6, 2012

Corrected – Disagreements on cyber risk East-West “Cold War”

LONDON (Reuters) – With worries growing over computer hacking, data theft and the risk of digital attacks destroying essential systems, western states and their allies are co-operating closer than ever on cyber security.

But as they do so, the gulf between them and China and Russia – blamed for many recent hacks and with a very different and much more authoritarian view over the future of the Internet – grows ever wider.

Feb 3, 2012

Disagreements on cyber risk East-West “Cold War”

LONDON (Reuters) – With worries growing over computer hacking, data theft and the risk of digital attacks destroying essential systems, western states and their allies are co-operating closer than ever on cyber security.

But as they do so, the gulf between them and China and Russia — blamed for many recent hacks and with a very different and much more authoritarian view over the future of the Internet — grows ever wider.

Jan 31, 2012

Global “great power politics” returns to Mideast

LONDON (Reuters) – With Russia sending warships to discourage foreign intervention in Syria, and China drawn more deeply into Iran’s confrontation with the West, “great power” politics is swiftly returning to the Middle East.

After Russia pulled back from the region at the end of the Cold War, the United States and its Western allies faced few external rivals in attempts to influence events. But as the US withdraws from Iraq, emerging economic powers reshape the globe and are themselves sucked ever deeper into the Gulf by their energy needs, that era seems over.

Jan 25, 2012

Even without Hormuz blockade, Iran has options

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Under pressure over its nuclear
ambitions, Iran might never act on its threat to close the
Strait of Hormuz but could retain enough tricks in its playbook
to keep its enemies, shippers and global markets on edge.

As Western states tighten sanctions and its enemies wage an
apparent covert war against its uranium enrichment programme,
Tehran has warned several times it may seal off the waterway,
choking the supply of Gulf crude and gas.

Jan 18, 2012
via FaithWorld

Nigeria’s radical Islamist Boko Haram ups it’s game, but it’s not Al Qaeda

Photo

(Security forces view the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, December 25, 2011. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

With a YouTube video reminiscent of the broadcasts of Osama bin Laden, Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram seems keen to paint itself as part of a wider global jihad. But in reality, their concerns and focus look to remain almost entirely Nigerian. Whilst recent high-profile attacks including the bombing of a United Nations compound in August resembled Islamist attacks long common elsewhere, analysts say there remain few proven links to similar militants elsewhere.

Jan 17, 2012

Ditch the assumption that developed economies safe

LONDON (Reuters)- The downgrade of much of Europe’s credit ratings demonstrates in perhaps the bluntest terms so far the collapse of any lingering — if lazy — assumptions that developed states are somehow “safer” than emerging counterparts.

In the years to come, investors may make much harder-nosed assessments of how much to lend Western nations and how cheaply to do it, scrutinising their economics, demographics and particularly politics much more sharply.

Jan 17, 2012

Analysis: Ditch the assumption developed economies are safe

LONDON (Reuters) – The downgrade of much of Europe’s credit ratings demonstrates in perhaps the bluntest terms so far the collapse of any lingering — if lazy — assumptions that developed states are somehow “safer” than emerging counterparts.

In the years to come, investors may make much harder-nosed assessments of how much to lend Western nations and how cheaply to do it, scrutinizing their economics, demographics and particularly politics much more sharply.

Jan 13, 2012

Analysis: Nigeria’s Boko Haram ups game but no Al Qaeda

LONDON (Reuters) – With a YouTube video reminiscent of the broadcasts of Osama bin Laden, Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram seems keen to paint itself as part of a wider global jihad. But in reality, their concerns and focus look to remain almost entirely Nigerian.

Whilst recent high-profile attacks including the bombing of a United Nations compound in August resembled Islamist attacks long common elsewhere, analysts say there remain few proven links to similar militants elsewhere.

Jan 11, 2012

Europe faces defence challenge as US looks to Asia

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union might appear a military superpower, at least on paper. It has more uniformed personnel than the United States and overall EU defence spending outstrips Russia or China.

But as Washington pulls troops back from the continent, two decades after the Cold War ended, and refocuses on Asia, the cash-strapped nations of Europe face uncomfortable truths over just how paltry their real military capabilities have become.

Jan 10, 2012

Analysis: Europe faces defense challenge as U.S. looks to Asia

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union might appear a military superpower, at least on paper. It has more uniformed personnel than the United States and overall EU defense spending outstrips Russia or China.

But as Washington pulls troops back from the continent, two decades after the Cold War ended, and refocuses on Asia, the cash-strapped nations of Europe face uncomfortable truths over just how paltry their real military capabilities have become.

    • About Peter

      "Peter Apps is political risk correspondent for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets. Previously, he was emerging markets correspondent based in London after postings in southern Africa and Sri Lanka. His neck was broken in a vehicle smash on assignment in Sri Lanka in 2006, leaving him largely paralysed from the shoulders down."
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