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The star-spangled banner yet waves over a Havana taxi-bike. EPA/Alejandro Ernesto

Obama’s Cuba move is more a milestone than a turning point

The recent news that the United States and Cuba are finally beginning to “normalise” relations has understandably caught the world’s imagination, given the two countries’ longstanding mutual hostility…
In action? EPA/Stringer

Boots already on the ground as US mission in Iraq accelerates

President Obama’s address, on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, was uncompromising, the United States will “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State (IS) with “a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism…
US President Barack Obama outlines his new four-point strategy to defeat Islamic State in a televised address from the White House. EPA/SAUL LOEB / POOL

Obama’s new strategy still misses Islamic State’s weakest link

US President Barack Obama has announced a more aggressive strategy against Islamic State, including air strikes against its fighters “wherever they are”, even inside Syria – which he had previously ruled…
Isolated by sanctions - but does Putin care? EPA/Mikhail Klimentyev/Ria Novosti

Explainer: how will sanctions against Russia work?

The sanctions against Russia just announced by the EU and the US are widely reported to be the harshest since the end of the Cold War. The package includes cutting off Russia’s state-owned banks from international…
Who’s viewing your metadata? Adam Fagen

Data surveillance is necessary, but we must have transparency

The latest intelligence documents published by The Guardian tell us that the US National Security Agency (NSA) is harvesting up to 200 million text messages a day under the DISHFIRE programme, and that…
The Indonesian president, and his government, have experienced a serious loss of face at a time when they least wanted it. EPA/Abror Rizki

Diplomatic crisis: can the PM mend our relationship with Indonesia?

When The Guardian Australia and the ABC broke the news that Australian intelligence agencies had been monitoring the phones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and leading Cabinet…
Will the US attack Syria in the face growing international condemnation and opposition? EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Malcolm Fraser: Syria attack ‘illegal’

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser has attacked American plans to launch attacks on the Assad regime in Syria, describing them as illegal and reminiscent of the disastrous invasion of Iraq…
The grim cost of conflict. Freedom House via Creative Commons

Syria casts its shadow as G8 leaders gather

President Obama’s confirmation that the United States would begin arming Syrian rebels has prompted an urgent debate about both the legality and the effectiveness of the decision. The announcement, ahead…
A US flag lies in the wreckage of the Benghazi consulate, stormed on September 11 2012 in an attack that saw the US ambassador and three others killed. EPA/Stringer

Back to the future: Benghazi, Republicans and the urge to impeach

Are US Republicans set to attempt to impeach another Democratic president? Utah representative Jason Chaffetz suggested US president Barack Obama could face impeachment over his administration’s response…
Obama has unveilled two key trade treaties designed to reaffirm America’s place as the world’s leading nation - but many aspects of the treaties run counter to its social development stances.

The two treaties: Obama, trade, and the State of the Union

US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union plan to boost American exports and grow American jobs centres around two key regional trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic…
By opting for restraint in his state of the union speech, Obama presented his ideas not as bold initiatives to revive the liberal tradition, but as pragmatic proposals with widespread bipartisan support. EPA

Obama extends a light hand of liberalism to Americans

Barack Obama opened his fourth state of the union address to Congress with words from another Democratic president, John Kennedy: “The Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…
President Obama has skilfully identified immigration as an issue that Republicans will struggle with. Shutterstock

Obama tightens the immigration knot on Republicans

For an American president, the first inaugural address sets the stage for the four years to follow. The second inaugural address, on the other hand, focuses on a much longer legacy. Barack Obama’s speech…
Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” set in the context of slavery, depicts stark racial stereotypes. AAP/ Facundo Arrizabalaga

How Quentin Tarantino unchained Django (and historical facts)

This year, America will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, a presidential decree that effectively abolished slavery in all states in rebellion during the Civil…
President Obama delivered an ambitious inaugural address, but will struggle to get many of his progressive measures through a hostile Congress. EPA/Chip Somodevilla

Obama defends progressive vision in inauguration address

US President Barack Obama’s first inaugural address was largely forgettable. Recognising the large divide between the soaring optimism of his campaign rhetoric and the realities of an economy in the midst…

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