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Tisovets, a popular ski resort in the Carpathian Mountains, is a tiring four-hour drive in a four-wheel-drive from Lviv. The journey was exceptionally challenging for Ukraine’s newly elected president, Viktor Yushchenko, and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. Meeting there on January 5, 2005, they reviewed the events that led to their elections. The democratic movements that propelled them to power had to overcome obdurate regimes, defeat corrupt individuals, and confound the disbelief of international observers.

By Jack Duvall, Peter Ackerman  |  May 6, 2006
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A nationalist hard-line party of the Basque region, which consists of northern Spain and parts of southwestern France, has asserted Basque independence for the past 40 years. This party, known as Batasuna or Sozialista Abertzaleak, has been fighting for the autonomy of three of northern Spain’s Basque provinces, but it has been declining in power since being formally banned by the conservative People’s Party government in 2003. The organization that is commonly assumed to be its military wing, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), has been responsible for the deaths of over 800 people since 1968.

By Meredith Moore  |  May 6, 2006
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In its tumultuous and unpredictable history, Spain has experienced Muslim rule, Christian reconquest and unification, global military and economic superpower status, brutal Napoleonic occupation, civil war, fascist dictatorship, parliamentary democracy, domestic separatist movements, radical Islamist terrorism, and now socialist leadership. Spain’s version of September 11 occurred on March 11, 2004, when Al Qaeda operatives bombed commuter trains in Madrid, killing over 200 and wounding more than 1600 people.

By Norman Ho  |  May 6, 2006
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Afghanistan is caught in a downward spiral in which destructive political and economic factors reinforce each other. Unless the national political impasse is resolved, the economy is unlikely to recover, and a political solution that fails to address the critical link betwen politics and economics is doomed. Afghanistan still matters, both to the United States and to the international community, and there can and should be efforts to help the Afghans resolve their conflict and bring peace and stability to their country.

By Robin Raphel  |  May 6, 2006
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It has been over ten years since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Since then, President Saddam Hussein has been humiliated as Iraq's powerful military has lain in ruins, the country's borders penetrated by UN weapons inspectors, and its economy crumbling under the weight of international sanctions. Despite this, the world has seen the Iraqi dictator tenaciously hold on to power, while the international community's own resolve to confront Baghdad has faltered. Today, only the United States and its ally Great Britian remain committed to containing Iraq. This course of action, however, has yielded no tangible results.

By Scott Ritter  |  May 6, 2006
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Saudi Arabia's system of criminal justice has had a history of arbitrary neglect and violation of women's human rights that goes far beyond simple discrimination.

Despite the government's notorious resistance to change, there is no reason for it to remain that way. Besides contradicting the Saudi government's position on human rights, the abuses conflict with the Islamic law that forms the basis of Saudi justice.

By Natalia Truszkowska  |  May 6, 2006
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Riding a Harley-Davidson, watching the American television sitcom "Dharma & Greg," holding a medical degree-none of these are customarily associated with a Middle East leader, but that stereotype is changing.

By Kristen Eichensehr  |  May 6, 2006
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The idea of using trade to create political stability is not a new one. It took the form of imperialism into the late 191 century, when colonies helped the governments of industrializing countries handle social unrest at home. After centuries of change, the fundamental principle remains the same, though with a shift in focus. Now, private companies rather than mercantilist governments are attempting to foster peace between groups in conflict by involving them in cooperative business ventures.

By Alessandra Sulzer  |  May 6, 2006
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The ranks of the urban poor are rising in Third World countries. Most families arriving in cities are pushed into squatter settlements, where they suffer from shoddy housing, thugs, discrimination, poor infrastructure, sparse health care, insecurity of property, and unspeakably poor sanitation. More than one half of Asia's urban poor–over one billion people–live in squalid shantytowns. While often seen as a spreading blight and an incurable nuisance, these vulnerable people can be transformed into a social boon.

By Alba Alexander, Kurt Jacobsen, Sayeed Hasan Khan  |  May 6, 2006
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The unspeakable sequence of terrorism in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001, was a crime against humanity that sent a wave of revulsion throughout the civilized world–a world that will never be the same again. The lives of many people and many nations are now on the threshold of change. Pakistan's entrance into the international coalition against terror mirrored a broader worldwide development. Forces unleashed by the events of September 11 leave nations no choice when it comes to choosing where they stand.

By Benazir Bhutto  |  May 6, 2006