Skip to main content


Showing posts from July 22, 2018

 A new book combines 30 years of Arctic photography with science by  Mia Bennett Earlier this week, I spoke with Christoph Ruhsam, the polar photographer behind the new book,  Frozen Latitudes ,  and honorary secretary of the Austrian Society for Polar Research .  For Ruhsam, who works in the IT industry for a living, traveling to the Arctic has been a lifelong passion. Originally from Austria, he grew up close to the glaciers that for millennia have kept the top of the Alps in a deep freeze. But during his lifetime, he's seen his landlocked homeland's cryosphere shrink to a fraction of his childhood memories. This early attraction to icy landscapes kept drawing him farther and farther north, taking him to Iceland, Greenland, and even Franz Josef Land, the Russian archipelago first officially discovered by the  Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition  of 1872, which named it after the empire's nineteenth-century ruler. After thirty years of traveling across Arctic landscapes, Ruhsam had taken enough photographs to put

Belt and Road Initiative increases sovereign debt risks in Tajikistan      by Yueyi Chen , July 23, 2018 At the People’s Bank of China-IMF joint conference in Beijing back in April,  IMF head Christine Lagarde  warned about potential debt risks for countries involved in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This grand development initiative aimed at dismantling foreign investment barriers and improving international logistics has provided much-needed infrastructure support to its recipient countries. However, the BRI-related project loans may cause a problematic increase in sovereign debt in certain host countries.    Debt risks posed by BRI-related financing   As one of the poorest countries in Eurasia, Tajikistan is assessed by the IMF and World Bank to have a  “high risk” of debt distress . However, as the “first leg” of overland infrastructure projects of BRI, Tajikistan is still planning to increase its external debt to pay for inf

Monsoon Session Begins With a Vote of No Confidence

Analysis by Aman Thakkar , Editor Indialogue On Friday, June 20th, Prime Minister Modi’s government, led by the National Democratic Alliance, faced a vote of no confidence. The motion was the first to be approved after nearly 15 years, as the motion requires 50 supporters before it can be moved. The motion was movedby Jayadev Galla of the Telegu Desam Party, which withdrew from the alliance earlier this year due to frustrations over their demand that the central government offer the state of Andhra Pradesh “Special Category Status.” However, it was the President of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi, and his speech that got the most attention from the opposition. Indeed, the MP from Amethi hit out at the government on a host of issues, ranging from demonetization to job growth to defence acqusition. Indeed, Gandhi’s criticisms on the Rafale deal, which was initially under negotiation under the INC-led UPA government from 2004 to 2014, but was concluded by Prime Minister Modi’

World Security Updates

    Be sure to visit  throughout the day for the latest analysis from the  Just Security  team.   And now with the news:     IRAN “To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,”  President Trump said in  message  on Twitter last night, the strong language following Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and his administration’s reinstatement of sanctions against Tehran. Joshua Berlinger reports at  CNN . Trump’s tweet appeared to be in response to reported remarks by yesterday Rouhani that “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”  Jessica Donati reports at the  Wall Street Journal . Trump’s remarks come within the context of his administration’s attempts to increase pressure on the Iranian government,  including a call to cut I

Power in the International Trading System

E vita Schmieg Trump Administration Risks Destroying World Trade Order SWP Comment 2018/C 30, July 2018, 4 Pages The international trading system is in flux. A spiral of protectionism threatens to expose the limits of the WTO’s ability to protect against abuses and prevent trade wars. And the reason for this is astonishing: The US Administration believes that the existing rules – which the Americans themselves played a leading role in writing – disadvantage the United States. Currently the Trump Administration is working hard to dismantle the system. Download (PDF)

P7 – What is Chidambaram really worth? A look at how  Chidambaram  was the Rain Maker for his party. Finance Ministry must have been a hobby. By   Sree Iyer July 16, 2018 A look at how  Chidambaram  was the Rain Maker for his party. Finance Ministry must have been a hobby. Parts 1-6 can be  accessed here . This is the  concluding  part. Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them – thus wrote William Shakespeare. The erudite evil genius that he is, P Chidambaram (PC) perhaps wanted to come up with his own variation of the above phrase – Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some will buy greatness at any cost. I have said this before and will say it again here. It is the burning ambition of every Indian politician to die a Prime Minister (PM), even if for just one day. This is especially difficult for a member of the Congress party, since the eighties – Indira Gandhi placed loyalty above everything else and the fact that some non – Gandhis became the PM