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Apr 25, 2013

U.S., Russian spies’ “trust deficit” may have clouded Boston case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have long cast a wary eye on counterterrorism intelligence from Russia, Obama administration officials say, raising questions about whether a “trust deficit” clouded efforts to determine if Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed a danger.

Any intelligence disconnect between the United States and Russia could have broader repercussions, complicating plans to cooperate on security for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, not far from Russia’s restive north Caucasus region.

Apr 18, 2013

Scots vote, replacement debate challenge British nuclear deterrent

FASLANE, Scotland (Reuters) – Outside Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, campaigners who have fought for decades for Britain to abandon nuclear weapons believe that they are closer than ever to victory.

In the 1980s, then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher brushed aside the protesters, saying that in the Cold War, atomic arms made the world a safer place.

Apr 5, 2013

As Koreas face off, risk of accidental war grows

LONDON (Reuters) – At the North Korean embassy in London, they are answering the phone but saying little.

“As far as we know, we are not giving any statements,” a North Korean official told Reuters, declining to give his name and saying all necessary information was already available on the website of the North Korean state news agency KCNA.

Mar 27, 2013

Chinese general leads troops in Cyprus as Beijing embraces U.N. role

BUFFER ZONE, Cyprus, March 27 (Reuters) – When Chao Liu
enlisted in the People’s Liberation Army in the dying years of
China’s Cultural Revolution, he never imagined he would end up
in Cyprus wearing a blue U.N. beret.

His army officer father fought U.S.-led United Nations
forces during the 1950-1953 Korean War. With schools closed and
the country in chaos, he told his 16-year-old son that joining
the military was his best chance of a good life.

Mar 20, 2013

Insight: Desperate for bailout, Cyprus plays risky geopolitical game

LONDON (Reuters) – As it tries to play Russia off against Europe to salvage its economy, Cyprus has embarked on a high-stakes poker game that could see almost everyone lose.

Its banks shattered by exposure to Greek debt, the island state urgently needs a way of bailing out its financial system.

Mar 20, 2013

Desperate for bailout, Cyprus plays risky geopolitical game

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) – As it tries to play Russia off
against Europe to salvage its economy, Cyprus has embarked on a
high-stakes poker game that could see almost everyone lose.

Its banks shattered by exposure to Greek debt, the island
state urgently needs a way of bailing out its financial system.

Mar 15, 2013

Turkish Cypriots eye turning to Muslim states for recognition

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Frustrated by a stalled process to reunite Cyprus, the de facto Turkish Cypriot state that has run the north for almost four decades says it is considering asking fellow Islamic states for formal recognition.

That would infuriate the Republic of Cyprus government, a European Union member that describes the north as being under illegal military occupation since a 1974 Turkish invasion. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided ever since, with only Turkey so far recognizing the north as a sovereign state.

Mar 14, 2013

West tiptoes into Syrian war hoping to boost more secular rebels

LONDON (Reuters) – France, Britain and the United States are inching towards providing military aid to Syria’s rebels, hoping to beef up more secular forces at the expense of radical Islamists who are gaining ever more prominence in the uprising.

The bitter experience of Afghanistan, where the American arming of anti-Soviet mujahideen forces in the 1980s helped to give rise to the Taliban and al Qaeda, hangs heavy in the air.

Mar 14, 2013

Cyprus plans to export natural gas to Europe by 2018

NICOSIA, March 14 (Reuters) – Cyprus, urgently needing
revenues from its newly found natural gas reserves, hopes to
begin exports by 2018 and will target sales at fellow European
Union members, its energy minister said.

George Lakkotrypis also said gas could be sold in advance or
used to help the government, which is now negotiating a
multibillion-dollar bailout, to issue new debt on international
markets in future.

Mar 4, 2013

“Arab spring” brings new buyers for bulletproof cars

March 4 (Reuters) – * “Arab spring”, rising unrest help
drive demand

* Governments, oil firms, rich individuals all buying

* Industry grew on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent

DUBAI, March 4 (Reuters) – In a workshop in a dusty
industrial area on the outskirts of Dubai, engineers are
stripping down a Toyota Land Cruiser to install armoured
plating, bullet resistant glass and run-flat tyres.

    • 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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