Viernes, 17 de agosto de 2007

Desde que el fiscal y un juez de Instrucción de la Audiencia Nacional adoptaron determinadas decisiones a raíz de la publicación en una revista de un dibujo y un comentario alusivos de forma denigrante a los Príncipes de Asturias, no han sido demasiados numerosos los análisis de los hechos desde una perspectiva estrictamente jurídica. Una perspectiva que no es por cierto inútil y que, por lo pronto, permite a un viejo jurista entrar en el debate diciendo que la actuación del fiscal y del juez ha consistido simplemente en la aplicación de las leyes haciendo de ellas una interpretación absolutamente razonable.…  Seguir leyendo »

The global financial markets have turned ugly. August has seen a spasm of selling on stock markets as dealers have come to terms with the fact that the days of unlimited, cheap credit are over. Yesterday, there was a whiff of panic in the air. In London, the FTSE index lost 250 points and closed below 6,000 for the first time since last autumn. This followed a big stocks selloff in Asia, which in turn was prompted by a warning from investment bank Merrill Lynch that the US mortgage lender Countrywide could go bust as a result of the crisis in the American housing market.…  Seguir leyendo »

I walked with Roberto Navarrete into the national stadium in Santiago, Chile. With the southern winter's wind skating down from the Andes, it was empty and ghostly. Little had changed, he said: the chicken wire, the broken seats, the tunnel to the changing rooms from which the screams echoed. We stopped at a large number 28. "This is where I was, facing the scoreboard. This is where I was called to be tortured."

Thousands of "the detained and the disappeared" were imprisoned in the stadium following the Washington-backed coup by General Pinochet against the democracy of Salvador Allende on September 11 1973.…  Seguir leyendo »

Is Russia managing to build a rival to Nato? More than you would have thought last year and more than is comfortable in Europe and the US.

The summit yesterday of Russia, China and their Central Asian neighbours was dubbed the “anti-Nato” by Izvestia, the Russian daily newspaper, and it has a point. Iran, as an “observer”, added a new and menacing tone to the group.

Russia’s main frustration in its ambitions for the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), as the 11-year-old group is formally called, is that China wants the club to focus on economics and energy more than security and shares none of Russia’s delight in picking a fight with the US.…  Seguir leyendo »

Standing in a Danish cornfield last week, a young Iraqi interpreter described to me what it feels like to be branded as a collaborator: the menacing stares, the neighbours who shun you in the street and spit as you pass, the threatening notes pushed under the door at midnight promising death to traitors, the isolation and the terror.

Like many university-educated Iraqis, this man began working as a translator for the coalition forces soon after the invasion of Iraq, and ended up on the payroll of the Danish Army. When the Danes pulled out last month, they took him with them, along with some 200 other Iraqis and their families who would otherwise face death at the hands of insurgent murder squads.…  Seguir leyendo »

The next time you hear confident assurances from the White House and its supporters that the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq is working and that something called "victory" is within sight, remember the Yazidis.

The who? Before Tuesday, you almost certainly would have asked that question -- before two villages in northern Iraq, populated by an obscure religious sect, suffered what is now officially the deadliest terrorist attack of the war, with more than 400 people confirmed dead. The final toll is expected to rise, but the coordinated suicide truck bombings in the Yazidi towns already constitute the second-worst terrorist attack of modern times, trailing only the carnage of Sept.…  Seguir leyendo »

The declaration earlier this month by Admiral Vladimir Masorin, the commander of the Russian navy, that Moscow intends to re-establish a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean, is under close scrutiny from Washington to Tel Aviv. While more an aspiration than established fact so far, the move carries myriad, challenging implications, ranging from the US Sixth Fleet's regional monopoly on naval power to the security of trans-Caucasian and north African energy supply routes.

But it is the prospect of Russia reactivating its cold war naval bases in Syria, at the ports of Tartus and Latakia, that could have the most dramatic geopolitical impact.…  Seguir leyendo »