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A Syrian refugee woman walks among tents at Karkamis' refugee camp on January 16, 2014 near the town of Gaziantep, south of Turkey.

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WASHINGTON — Turkey is host to an increasing number of refugees from Syria, fast approaching one million. By the end of this year, their numbers are expected to approach 1.5 million.

But although world attention has focused on the vast numbers of Syrians seeking protection in Turkey, Syrians are not the only refugees in the country, and its other refugees deserve protection too.

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin smiles while meeting Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on April 18, 2014. The chief executive of Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell Ben van Beurden met today President Vladimir Putin at his private residence, telling the Russian strongman that the company wanted to expand its operations in Russia. The European Parliament called on yesterday for the EU to reinforce sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis and be prepared to target economic interests.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — It is Vladimir Putin’s vision to regain the greatness of the Russian Empire. He has chosen Ukraine as his starting point, and why not, other than international law and a few pesky treaties? A combination of circumstances has emboldened him to do it now, not later.

Economics favor him now. Russia’s role as an energy exporter has funded the reconstitution of his military. Energy exports are also a lever for economic warfare against those who oppose him.

But all this is fleeting. As the United States is becoming the world’s largest fossil fuel producing nation, despite the current Obama administration’s effort to stifle that development, Putin knows that over time, both advantages will erode.

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Peolpe of the Pulaar ethnicity wait in line in the Begoua district, northeast of Bangui, to receive humanitarian and medical aid on April 9, 2014. The Security Council of the UN has just adopted authorizing the deployment to Central African Republic in September of about 12,000 peacekeepers.

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NEW YORK — The UN Security Council has voted to send almost 12,000 peacekeeping troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) to stop a two-year-old conflict that the United Nations fears could become a genocide. The UN force would supplement French and African Union troops already on the ground.

Peacekeeping may be the key to ending the violence, but advocates such as Human Rights Watch and the Enough Project acknowledge that a UN effort offers no guarantees for peace – or for building long-term stability in the troubled country.

Pessimism centers on the volatility of the Central African Republic’s post-independence history and the sheer complexity of the current conflict. The country, rich in precious minerals, has survived three military coups and a series of failed revolutions since it gained independence from France in 1960.

The latest conflict began in 2012, when the Séléka, an alliance of domestic rebel militia and mercenaries from Chad and Sudan, invaded parts of the country, claiming to fight against the corruption and abuses of President François Bozizé’s government. A year ago, the rebels ousted Bozizé’s forces and installed Séléka leader Michel Djotodia of CAR as the country’s first Muslim president.

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US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton speak during a press conference at the Intercontinental hotel on April 17, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Leaders from EU, US, Ukraine and Russia are meeting today in Geneva to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine and to find a political solution.

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OWL’S HEAD, Maine — The Palestinian-Israeli peace train just left the station, once again empty.

Secretary of State Kerry's decision last summer to focus on finding a solution to the decades-long insoluble issue was not necessarily wrong. But what was wrong, in retrospect, was his apparent decision to do so without getting any agreement from President Obama that the US would put the needed pressure on either party for a solution.

What's the point of an honest broker if he merely moderates a discussion in preference to brokering a deal?

What has become known as Kerry's "poof" moment was his laying the primary blame for the apparent breakdown in the talks on Israel. Another more pressing and critical development emerged, overshadowing his Middle East focus even before his official nine-month deadline, on April 29 has been reached.

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A poster carrying messages for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane is seen at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on March 10, 2014.

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DENPASAR, Indonesia — What do some of the initial reactions to the missing Malaysia airliner, a less than diplomatic Chinese send-off to a departing US ambassador, and Russia's justifications for its annexation of the Crimea all have in common?

The answer is a government attitude and actions that are still defined by the dividing politics of race and ethnicity.

Should such narrow nationalism continue, Asia and now Europe are likely to face a future that harkens more back to the wars and divisions of the last century – and to the hit United States television series and Game of Thrones novels of contending kingdoms – than one of extended peace and prosperity. That’s sad for all of us.

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Syrian refugees queue up at a UNHCR registration center, one of many across Lebanon, in the northern port city of Tripoli on April 3, 2014. More than one million Syrians have registered as refugees in Lebanon.

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BERUIT — Refugees are everywhere on the streets of downtown Beirut.

Women and children in filthy clothes beg for money on nearly every street corner. Countless young boys tote shoeshine kits, persistently following foreigners and wealthy Lebanese who pass by. "Min Sooriya" they say, meaning “from Syria.”

As if there was any doubt.

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US President Barack Obama listens to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) during a trilateral meeting with the South Korean president at the US ambassador's residence in The Hague on March 25, 2014. Obama hosted the much-anticipated first meeting between the Asian leaders.

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NEW YORK — In 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first articulated the Obama Administration’s intention to “pivot” toward Asia, rebalancing its commitments and resources eastward. “Harnessing Asia's growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama,” wrote Clinton in Foreign Policy.

A little more than two years later, the administration has little to show. In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama devoted just one sentence to the region and the majority of that was to commend the Marines for disaster relief work in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. This came just a few months after he canceled a trip to the region to deal with the government shutdown in Washington – a public diplomacy signal of disinterest that United States allies were quick to criticize.

This wasn’t the first sign of trouble for the strategic pivot. Fallout from the Arab Spring, a war in Syria and Russian aggression in Eastern Europe have kept the administration tied down outside the region. Budgetary constraints in Washington continue to threaten the scale of the Pentagon’s plan to shift military assets to Asia and a transformational Pacific trade deal has stalled amidst domestic opposition.

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A Ukrainian student shouts slogans during a nationalist and pro-unity rally in the eastern city of Lugansk on April 17, 2014. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today announced a deal had been reached with Ukraine, the US and the EU to "de-escalate" dangerously high tensions in the former Soviet republic.

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LONDON — Vladimir Putin has been described as many things: tyrant, autocrat, villain, gangster. Few would call him a unifier. But by annexing Crimea that is exactly the role he has played in Ukraine.

Putin invaded Ukraine in part to embolden Russian national sentiment. The Russian president has suppressed any remnants of an independent press, revved up the state-sponsored PR machine, which churns out vicious propaganda in support of increasingly irredentist foreign policy.

He has justified the forced annexation of Crimea as a move to protect ethnic Russians, portraying the Euromaidan, the wave of demonstrations, civil unrest and revolution in Ukraine, as radical fascists sponsored by the United States government. But rather than expose the duplicity of Kyiv, his lies have revealed the truth about Ukraine.

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RAMALLAH, West Bank – As the media focuses on the latest efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, what is not being seen is the culture of entrepreneurship, small business creation and new investment vehicles that is accelerating on the West Bank, and to a lesser degree in Gaza.

It’s the story of two worlds: another round of decades-long negotiations is grinding along and a large part of West Bank remains poor, undeveloped and very traditional. But running parallel to this reality is one of a young, educated and tech-oriented demographic that is growing rapidly and is highly connected to the outside world, hungry to be part of it and barreling ahead to create their own opportunities and a brighter future.

Ramallah is the largest and most economically vibrant of the West Bank cities, with an international business-oriented culture embeded in a broader very traditional society. It has a lively café life, with twenty-somethings trading start-up ideas, creating business plans and often launching their companies from within these very cafes. One notable element of this community is the number of impressive and determined young women entrepreneurs.

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Photo taken on November 28, 2013 shows staff members of the Themba Lethu Clinic in Johannesburg, the largest antiretroviral treatment site in the country, posing behind candles commemorating World Aids Day (December 1). South Africa has been hailed as a model for HIV treatment, but some now fear its very success may be breeding complacency and making people less careful about infection.

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WASHINGTON — News broke last week that South Africa has the fastest growing rate of new HIV infections of any country in the world, underscoring the urgency of the fight against HIV/AIDS and the fragility of our progress to date. It also underscores a perpetual truth: leadership matters and we need bold, innovative and affirmed commitment to end this disease.

Early this year, the Obama administration nominated Deborah Birx as the next US Global AIDS Coordinator and first woman to assume the role. Last week, the Senate voted to confirm her appointment. In this position, Birx will oversee the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment a nation has ever made to combat a single disease. Our hope is that she uses this leadership role to work with diverse groups to promote the health and rights of all people and to expand the integration of family planning and HIV services.

We have come a long way in the fight against HIV/AIDS through PEPFAR and other programs. Yet as South Africa’s news illustrates, troubling disparities, stigma, and discrimination persist and women often bear the brunt of the burden. These challenges require immediate programmatic and policy attention.

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