diplomacy

The North and Midlands would be hit hardest by Britain quitting the European Union, according to an economic analysis which revealed that the number of jobs which are dependent on trade links with the bloc now exceeds 4 million.

Diplomats representing major western powers have strongly condemned human rights violations by South Sudan's government and rebel forces and protested the obstruction of U.N. operations and threats to U.N. personnel in the war-torn country.

Halfway through an otherwise coherent conversation with a Georgian lawyer last week—the topics included judges, the court system, the police—I was startled by a comment he made about his country’s former government, led by ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili. “They were LGBT,” he said, conspiratorially.   

Earlier this week, Barack Obama again rejected Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign claim that Russia is America’s biggest “geopolitical foe.” In fact, Obama said, Russia is a regional power acting out of “weakness,” adding that he worries more about a mushroom cloud over New York City than he does about Vladimir Putin.

March 28, 2014

In an international version of the blame game, Beijing and Tokyo have frequently resorted to historical analogies in their argument about which side is responsible for the deterioration of bilateral relations. In a Jan. 22 speech, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe compared China and Japan today to Germany and Britain on the eve of World War I.

Pakistan announced last week that it received a $1.5 billion grant from Saudi Arabia, which it termed a “friendly gift” and an “unconditional grant." Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long had warm ties, but the no-strings-attached gift sparked immediate concern from Pakistani journalists, security experts, and opposition politicians, who question whether the grant is part of a behind-the-scenes deal for Pakistan to provide weapons for Syrian rebels.

Mexican food has suffered an image problem. When people say they want Mexican food they think fajitas, or hard shell tacos, or chile con queso. These “Tex Mex” fast food interpretations discredit a cuisine that has arose from ancient civilizations that pre-date the arrival of the Spaniards.

Israeli foreign ministry employees have intensified a long-running dispute over pay and conditions by declaring a full-scale strike at home and at diplomatic missions around the world. "The ministry in Jerusalem will remain closed and Israel's missions abroad will not open as of Monday morning, March 24," the ministry's website said.

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