Recent increases in Russia’s military presence in Syria not only help reinforce a regional ally in opposition to the West, but also ensure Russia’s prominent role in Syria’s political future, with or without Assad.
The announced review of the UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance regime under the Cutting Red Tape programme sends mixed policy messages at a sensitive time. The focus on increasing supervisory effectiveness is the right one, but must be delicately balanced with the need to strengthen the UK’s illicit finance defences.
Organised crime, rather than terrorism, is the greatest threat to elephants and other species in East Africa. Our primary focus should be on the organised crime groups and corrupt actors known to drive the vast ivory trade across the region.
The end of ambiguity about Pyongyang's nuclear capacity raises fundamental questions affecting China, the United States, and the future of international non-proliferation strategy. Indirectly, these consequences could actually work to the advantage of the West in its attempts to prevent Iran 'going nuclear'.
The UN Security Council is certain to impose sanctions on North Korea. But, since these are likely to involve – at least initially – just cutting off trade and diplomatic contacts, no significant impact is expected.