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Wardah Nur never imagined that she would become a soldier. And, until ten years ago, she couldn’t have. Nur belongs to a small, elite group -- the 2013 “lady cadets,” as they are called -- the latest batch of women to train at the Pakistan Military Academy since it began accepting them in 2006 during General Pervez Musharraf’s presidency.
In the 12 years since gaining independence, East Timor has struggled in almost every facet of economic and political management. As its neighboring economies boom, it is quietly on the path to becoming a failed state. And it is quickly running out of time to change course.
Vienna's opulent Palais Coburg was originally designed as a palace for Austria’s former Habsburg dynasty. But amid the tense negotiating sessions over the future of Iran's nuclear program, it could sometimes feel more like a prison -- for diplomats and journalists alike.
Afghanistan seems to be holding its breath. Business has ground to a halt and middle-class Afghans are eyeing foreign escape routes as they send their money out of the country. The sense of uncertainly is not just about who will be the next president, or whether the loser will accept the result. It’s about the precarious economy.
Recent discussions about Ukraine have often focused on sweeping questions of historical narrative and national sovereignty. But Sunday's election showed that ordinary Ukrainians are mostly worried about poverty, unemployment, a lack of social services, and endemic corruption.
In April 2012, a small team of wandering miners discovered gold in the Jebel Amir hills of North Darfur, Sudan. One of the mines was so rich -- it reportedly brought millions of dollars to its owners -- that it was nicknamed “Switzerland.” Diggers rushed in from all over Sudan, bringing with them guns, gangs, and prostitutes.
For the past two decades, Tokyo has been described as stagnant, glacial, and arthritic. But that is only part of the story. Outside the government, a new generation of liberal reformers is bringing about real change.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has recently become a hotbed for discussions of federalism. It could be a bellwether for the rest of Ukraine’s east.
Like his successor, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tends to blame his country's violence problem on inequality. Yet if the government has made significant progress reducing inequality, and if, as Hugo Chávez believed, violence is derived from social injustice, what explains the recent surge in crime?
No sooner had embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled office than his old nemesis, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was back on the scene. Her return, which could upset the fragile balance among the three opposition leaders that helped boot Yanukovych, has already sparked concerns that this week marked the end of one president's rule but not the start of something new.
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