The Indian prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington is the first official state visit of the Obama administration, an indication of the importance the administration attaches to the Indo-U.S. relationship.

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Piracy remains in the headlines. This week, the United Nations held a special meeting to consider the subject, the captain of a chemical tanker was killed when his ship was hijacked, a Spanish fishing vessel was released after a ransom was paid, and the Maersk Alabama evaded capture by fighting the pirates with guns.

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After months of speculation as to who would be Europe's first president, the EU's top leaders emerged from their smoke-filled room and announced that Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy was their man.  And that trade commissioner Catherine Ashton was their woman, tabbed to head up the Commission's foreign policy.

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"It will be just like Syria," said the strategic scholar just back from Israel and speculating about the much-debated question of whether Israel will eventually bomb Iran's nuclear installations.

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On a Saturday morning, 38-year-old Khalid Khattak is packing his luggage to move to Virginia in a last-ditch attempt to land a job appropriate to his skill set. A few months ago, Khattak was working as a recruiter in the human resource department of a large company and earning a decent salary. His wages covered personal expenses, including the rent for his two-bedroom, New York City apartment. After setting aside some savings, Khattak sent whatever was left over to his family living in Pakistan. Recently, however, Khattak’s company was hit by the economic recession and he was fired as part of a cost-cutting drive.

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Tomorrow night, the European Union will have its first-ever president.  Time's Leo Cendrowicz reports that few Europeans much care, perhaps because they have no voice in the selection.

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After eight years of war and huge expenditures of national treasure, is the United States really serious about succeeding in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

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I agree with Paul Krugman that we can learn something from Germany:

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"Obama Has Failed the World on Climate Change," blares a Spiegel op-ed by Christian Schwägerl.  The essay is another data point in the growing notion that the new American president's aura is fading on the other side of the Atlantic.

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The French Navy ship Mistral tied up at a downtown Saint Petersburg pier November 23. With the golden dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral shimmering in the background, the amphibious assault ship made a perfect sales promotion picture, which was precisely its mission.  Some in Paris—led by the Elysée Palace—want to sell Mistral class ships to Russia, a venture with ominous geopolitical implications that would tear at the fabric of NATO.

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