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February/March 2019


Cover story



10 A year in the Middle East What a US withdrawal will mean Paul Salem

Bringing Qatar back in from the cold Alpesh Patel

A glimmer of hope in Yemen Elizabeth Palmer

20 Interview Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the masked Ghanian journalist, on fighting corruption 24 Environment A rule book for techno-solutions to climate change Janos Pasztor Capitalism with a conscience Laura Manna 30 Europe EU’s founding members must stop patronizing its new recruits Jonathan Eyal The EU- ’s take on Brexit Nicolai von Ondarza Countdown to March 38 Refugees Australia should end the detention of boat people Nick Martin 40 Central Asia The rise of China’s private armies Odil Gafarov Q&A Bruno Macaes on China’s new world order

4 Contributors 5 The world in brief including Jargonbuster, shorts and international events 19 Date with history Iran’s rolling revolution Andrew Whitley 23 Column The problems raised by Bangladesh’s landslide election Murad Qureshi 29 Postcard from Chongqing The limits to Chinese retail therapy Yu Jie 45 Column Congo’s new president Ben Shepherd 46 Review Intel on Pakistan from the top Amil Khan Population trends in an ageing world Robin Lustig Reading list on Hungary 50 Culture notes Revolutionary history versus puny puns Catherine Fieschi

Cover by Tsjisse Talsma

From the Editor The clash between Donald Trump’s instincts and the reflexes of the Washington establishment is rarely so clear as in the Middle East. After a tumultuous year in the region, Paul Salem sifts through the evidence to discover if Trump’s announced withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan actually means the US is turning its back on the region. Meanwhile in Yemen, CBS’s Elizabeth Palmer discovers how the murder of a Saudi journalist in Istanbul upended the status quo and brought a glimmer of hope to a people who have suffered years of bombardment.

Our interview is with Anas Aremeyaw Anas, pioneer of a new form of journalism that is taking Africa by storm. The masked Ghanaian reporter – whose motto is ‘Name, shame and jail’ – judges success not by the number of clicks on his website but the criminals he puts in jail.

For the English-speaking world, Brexit is often seen as the most dangerous divide in the European Union. Jonathan Eyal takes a different view: the patronizing attitude of the old members of the bloc towards those recently joined from central and eastern Europe is a cancer eating away at the cohesion of Europe.

In the battle against climate change there is no sign of carbon emissions peaking, so thoughts are turning to other ways to save the planet. Janos Pasztor looks at technical fixes – such as seeding the clouds to reflect back the Sun’s heat – which are now increasingly being taken seriously. But who is going to control such dangerous technologies which, in the wrong hands, could spark global conflict?

This is the Chinese Year of the Pig, traditionally a symbol of prosperity and plenty, writes Yu Jie. But, she asks, will the porker be able save the global economy from recession? Alan Philps


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