From the FT:
© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
While officials at the debt management agency prepare to trumpet Greece’s return to international capital markets, for long-suffering Athenians it is just another day marked by anti-austerity protests in the centre of the capital.
The five-year bond issue will be snapped up by investors eager for extra yield. But Greek risk, though diminishing, is unlikely to disappear soon. Here is a quick checklist of informal indicators tracked by local analysts. Read more
Could the UK go it alone in the cut-throat world of global trade?
Iain Mansfield, the 30-year-old British diplomat awarded a €100,000 prize by the eurosceptic Institute of Economic Affairs for his plan for a British exit from the EU, certainly thinks so. At the centre of his plan is the case for the UK to go it alone in negotiating trade agreements with big players like China and the US. Read more
At one level, what is happening this week in the cities of eastern Ukraine is thoroughly confusing. Ukrainian security forces are trying to recapture government buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk that were seized earlier this week by unidentified pro-Russia demonstrators. Who exactly is fighting whom? Who is really in charge in the region?
By Gideon Rachman
“Whatever it takes.” Mario Draghi’s declaration that he would save the euro could well go down as the most effective three-word statement by a Roman since Julius Caesar’s veni, vidi, vici.
♦ Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, the savage events of 1994 remain pivotal to efforts to build a post-ethnic nation, reports Katrina Manson
♦ Afghanistan steps into the unknown: With Karzai heading for the exit and Nato winding down its troop presence, the country is entering a new era – and many Afghans fear renewed violence and foreign interference.
♦ The US is playing the crooked lawyer in an Israeli-Palestinian drama, says David Gardner.
♦ Anger over the economy simmers in Cyprus even though Brussels and Berlin have judged the island’s bailout to be a success.
♦ A South Sudan rebel leader with a satellite phone, a touch-screen tablet and a copy of “Why Nations Fail” ponders the next step in a young country’s civil war. The New York Times reports.
As the televised brawls between Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister, and Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-EU Ukip party have recently shown, the quality of political discussion in Britain is rarely so low as when the topic in question is the European Union.
All the same, sanity and thoughtfulness on the EU issue can still be found in British public life. For this we should thank, among others, the House of Lords, the much misunderstood but invaluable upper house of parliament. Read more
The Associated Press has just released a fascinating piece of investigative journalism about US psy-ops in Cuba, the plan being to use a Twitter-like service to foment social unrest and weaken Havana’s communist regime.
The story is a must-read that shows how the world of espionage is changing in today’s internet-driven world, and how that espionage can fail for new reasons. It may also hand other governments, such as those in Turkey, Russia or Venezuela, an excuse to crack down on social media using the argument that the misinformation spread is all part of a terrible imperialist plot. Read more
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Commentary on international affairs, with Gideon Rachman and his colleagues