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The great EU distraction: A moment for Iran to change the subject from nuclear to human rights

Commentary: By canceling a visit, Tehran reinforced its disregard of human rights.
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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the UN General Assembly on September 26, 2012 in New York City. The 67th annual event gathers more than 100 heads of state and government for high level meetings on nuclear safety, regional conflicts, health and nutrition and environment issues. (John Moore/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON – Iran handed the world an unintentionally belated gift by disinviting a delegation from the European Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union, to a planned visit to Tehran, ostensibly to talk about human rights. It seems the EU group had the audacity to ask to meet with two Iranian human rights activists the EU had awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Tough US election talk on China a time-honored tradition

Commentary: The reality is that stronger anti-China measures are not likely
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A woman passes by the national flag made up of 100,000 carnations at Wuling Square September 25, 2007 in Hangzhou, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)
Commentary: If the two US presidential candidates are to be believed, the next four years will bring heightened US-China trade tensions.

The little-known US-Soviet confrontation during Yom Kippur War

Commentary: Tense times on the high seas as US and Soviet fleets faced off but the backed off.
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Israeli army Southern Command General Ariel Sharon with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 on the western bank of the Suez Canal in Egypt. (Ministry of Defense/AFP/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM – The largest naval confrontation of the Cold War occurred 39 years ago this month and it was not the Cuban missile crisis.

Final Debate Reveals Differences on Foreign Policy

Commentary: Obama was confident, at ease; Romney seemed uncertain
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US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the end of the third and final presidential debate October 22, 2012 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
OWL’S HEAD, Maine – It was clear that Mitt Romney's strategy during the final presidential debate on foreign policy was to be moderate, temperate – "presidential" his supporters said afterwards. But what came across was a candidate who was cautious, particularly compared to his previous debates, more interested in not putting his foot in his mouth than in challenging President Obama.

Somalia’s fragile hope is linked to Ethiopia

Commentary: Ethiopian democratization is key to stabilizing Somalia
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A soldier of the Kenyan Contingent serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) stands guard on a street in the centre of the southern Somali port city of Kismayo while a combat engineering team inspects the surrounding area following reports of a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) left behind by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated extremist group Al Shabaab. (STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS -- No sooner had Somalia's clan-appointed legislators elected a president, the first in more than 42 years in this Horn of Africa nation, than Kenyan troops dislodged the Islamist military group Al-Shabab from its last stronghold, the port town of Kismayo. As important a turnaround as this is, it hardly signals that two decades of anarchy have been overcome.

More women in the workforce to sustain “Made in Germany”

Commentary: Paying women to provide child care at home is discouraging women from working.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 27, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)
Commentary: Chancellor Merkel’s promise to her conservative coalition partner, the CSU, to enact a childcare subsidy for keeping toddlers out of public daycare, will take more women out of Germany’s workforce. It is an antediluvian measure when the EU is proposing quotas for women in the boardroom, and will not help Germany in its quest to boost its birthrate.

Compared to his predecessors, Obama has done little for Africa

Commentary: In a second term, the President needs to do more to support African democracy
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A supporter of US Democratic presidential hopeful Barak Obama sports a hat bearing a sticker of Obama in the village of Kogello on November 4, 2008. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY — There is a palpable thrill in Africa at the prospects of a second term for President Obama, even though in his foreign policy, Africa has not been a priority. Compared to his predecessors, presidents Clinton and Bush, he achieved little.

The greatest threat to Uganda's future? The mosquito

Commentary: International partnerships to control the disease are essential.
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A mother holds her seven-month-old daughter underneath a mosquito tent while at the hospital on August 16, 2011. (ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
KAMPALA, Uganda – This week marks the 50th anniversary of Uganda’s independence, and the capital of Kampala has been noisy with celebration. My country has overcome a violent past, but hope is daily threatened by a force more deadly than any warlord or civil unrest. The greatest threat to Uganda’s future is the common mosquito.

Removing Radical Iranian Group from Terrorist List a Cynical Decision

Slick PR campaign helped sway the Obama administration.
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Supporters listen to Maryam Radjavi (R, on the screen), the President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) leader, during a meeting, on September 29, 2012, in Auvers-sur-Oise, north of Paris, where MEK Iranian opposition movement in exile is based. (MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON ¬– Take a large dollop of Washington influence buying, a portion of hypocrisy and a dash of duplicity. Stir them in the cauldron of a presidential campaign and heat them with national security rhetoric. That’s the recipe that produced what looks like one of the most cynical decisions in current American policy.

US Christian right links with Zimbabwe’s Mugabe to suppress gay rights

Commentary: Human rights defenders should denounce harassment of LGBT.
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President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe in a pictured dated on Dec. 16, 2009. (Peter Macdiarmid/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, Mass. — In recent weeks, police have descended on the Harare offices of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), seizing the group’s publications and computers as evidence, they claimed, in an ongoing investigation. The police sought to also arrest staff, but the organization’s lawyer has kept them free for now. The gay rights activist organization is — absurdly — accused of seeking to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government and teaching people to commit acts of sodomy.
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