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An activist holds burning Myanmar and UN flags during a protest in Multan on July 22, 2012, against the killing of Muslims in Myanmar. Violence between ethnic Buddhist Rakhine and local Muslims, including the Rohingya, since last year has left many dead and forced tens of thousands out of their homes.

- AFP/Getty Images

LONDON — The Myanmar government is trying to push us into camps or out of the country. In a few years, there may be no more of us left.

I stressed this message, as a human rights activist, during my remarks at a recent event hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingyas, one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic groups.

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Egyptian students attend a secondary school class at the 'Futures Tech' private school in Cairo on October 23, 2013. Classes are overcrowded, curriculums out of date and facilities crumbling. In Egypt, frustrated parents have for decades relied on private tutors as overpopulation and government neglect have eviscerated public education.

- Getty Images

CAIRO — Egypt’s path to building a new future has always had its obstacles, and so it wasn’t much of a surprise for participants to the opening of the country’s first entrepreneurship summit, RiseUp Egypt, when they learned that all of the streets entering the event were blocked.

The participants trying to make their way to the summit last month represented a who's who of this country’s nascent tech start-up sector and they were set to gather at the "Greek Campus,” formerly the American University of Cairo, right off Tahrir Square in the center of Cairo. To the event organizers, Tahrir Square, which was the epicenter of the historic protests in 2011 that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years of autocratic rule, seemed an appropriate place to host the summit and link the country’s economic future with its still-unfolding revolution.

What they didn’t know was that major protests had been planned in Tahrir Square for the same day. Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi were set to gather in large numbers and police had erected concrete barricades on all nearby roads and alleys to prevent the demonstration.

No vehicles could pass; there was no access to the summit. Steve Haley, who runs the Egypt-based operation for Mercy Corps, an international development organization that is working to facilitate the growth of the entrepreneurship sector in Egypt and played a central role in organizing the summit, and his team got out of their car and started walking the several blocks to the Greek campus, trying different alleyways looking for one without a 20-foot concrete and barbed wire barrier spanning the street.

As they rounded one corner, they saw colleagues from an angel investment group who joined them. Around another corner they were joined by friends from a tech accelerator. Soon in every direction they met up with people on foot all walking to the Summit. To Haley, this was a perfect metaphor, he thought, for the entrepreneurship sector in Egypt. There are innumerable large obstacles to progress but nothing was going to stop these young entrepreneurs from finding creative and successful ways around them.

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This photo from Jan. 27, 2005 shows Azerbaijan's Azadliq newspaper, one of the country's leading dailies.

- AFP/Getty Images

BERLIN, Germany — No one expected any surprises in October’s presidential election in my home country, Azerbaijan, and their expectations were accurate.

The incumbent president, Ilham Aliyev, won a landslide victory, following a campaign marred by restrictions on fundamental freedoms. His re-election moves Azerbaijan even further toward a family dynasty, with 20 years of rule by the Aliyev family so far. With no term limits, Ilham Aliyev could be president for life.

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The 20th annual Starvin' for Justice fast and vigil against the death penalty in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington on June 29, 2013.

- AFP/Getty Images

GENEVA — Which country will be the last to abolish the death penalty?

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The International Criminal Court in the Hague.

- AFP/Getty Images

THE HAGUE – Pedaling up to the recent World Forum on my muddied fixed-gear Dutch bike, I passed a phalanx of polished German-made autos all bearing diplomatic plates. (By my count, BMW won out over Mercedes two-to-one.) We were all heading to the same venue in The Hague, where representatives from 122 countries gathered for the 12th annual Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Vice President Joe Biden with his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao.

- AFP/Getty Images

OWL'S HEAD, Maine — Vice President Joe Biden has set off on perhaps the most sensitive and significant foreign policy venture of his five years under President Barack Obama.

Indeed, it may be a more important undertaking than anything Hillary Clinton did in the 956,733 miles she traveled as secretary of state.

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President Mandela shakes hands with Bertie Verwoerd, the 94-year-old widow of the late prime minister and architect of apartheid, Hendriek French Verwoerd, in Orania, a whites-only settlement founded in 1991. Mandela said the purpose of his visit was '"to unite South Africa where we cease to think in terms of color."

- Antler

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On a warm January afternoon in 1993, I was with a group of visiting US newspaper editors gathered at the suburban Johannesburg home of Allister Sparks, the noted journalist, for a backyard braai. Sparks had arranged for us to meet Nelson Mandela, and before long he appeared, wearing a Harvard sweatshirt.

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A mushroom cloud appears in 1971 after a French nuclear test in the south Pacific atoll of Mururoa.

- AFP/Getty Images

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Middle East regional stability and security continues to face substantial challenges, among them the problem of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Israel’s opaque nuclear posture, doubts surrounding the military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and other suspected weapons programs are all impediments to arms control efforts.

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President Barack Obama speaks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on the phone in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013.

- Getty Images

OWL’S HEAD, Maine — President Barack Obama took on two nuclear battles last week and emerged victorious in both.

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Russia's then-President Dmitry Medvedev spoke during a ceremony in Sochi on March 26, 2010 with members of the Russian winter Paralympics team. The Black Sea resort city of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games.

- AFP/Getty Images

MOSCOW — As the 100-day countdown to the 2014 Winter Paralympics begins, there is a dwindling window of opportunity to hold the Russian government to its commitment to establish social integration in the city. In late 2013, months before the Paralympic Games begin, much of Sochi remains an obstacle course for people with disabilities.

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