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Showing posts from October 5, 2014

Who is Richard Verma? 10 things you must know about the next US ambassador to India

  President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Rahul 'Richard' Verma as the new US envoy to India, making him the first Indian American in that position Tanmaya Nanda  |  Mumbai  September 19, 2014 Last Updated at 10:32 IST     He has been called the 'Most Influential Indian American Congressional aide' during his stint as Senior National Security Adviser to US Senate Majoirty leader Harry Reid. If things go according to plan, he could soon be called the 'most influential Indian-American in India'.   That's Rahul 'Richard' Verma, who US President Barack Obama nominated Thursday as that country's next ambassador to India, pending Senate approval.   The appointment is an important one – India has not had a full-time US Ambassador to India since May when Nancy Powell left New Delhi after resigning in March.   Verma's appointment can also been seen as a salve of sorts, after Powell's tumultuous tenure that included the Devyani Khobragade

France Wrestles With Legal Issues Ahead of Mistral Decision

Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, was expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, was supposed to arrive in 2015. The completion of a deal has been at risk since the West started implementing targeted economic sanctions against Russia over Ukrainian crisis. France has repeatedly threatened to suspend the deliveries of the ships. Moscow stated that if the contact was cancelled, Paris would have to pay a large penalty. Russia has also said that if anything goes wrong, the country would be able to build an analogue to the Mistral by itself. http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141005/DEFREG01/310050008/France-Wrestles-Legal-Issues-Ahead-Mistral-Decision PARIS — France is expected to decide within the coming month whether to deliver a Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia, and the letter of the law looms large with officials examining the sale contract as they weigh the

Turkey, the Kurds and Iraq: The Prize and Peril of Kirkuk

 Geopolitical Weekly TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014 - 03:00      Stratfor By Reva Bhalla In June 1919, aboard an Allied warship en route to Paris, sat Damat Ferid Pasha, the Grand Vizier of a crumbling Ottoman Empire. The elderly statesman, donning an iconic red fez and boasting an impeccably groomed mustache, held in his hands a memorandum that he was to present to the Allied powers at the Quai d'Orsay. The negotiations on postwar reparations started five months earlier, but the Ottoman delegation was prepared to make the most of its tardy invitation to the talks. As he journeyed across the Mediterranean that summer toward the French shore, Damat Ferid mentally rehearsed the list of demands he would make to the Allied powers during his last-ditch effort to hold the empire together. He began with a message, not of reproach, but of inculpability: "Gentlemen, I should not be bold enough to come before this High Assembly if I thought that the Ottoman people had incurred any responsibil