The global fight against money laundering and financial crime continues unabated, albeit in different and often surprising forms and locations, as three disparate recent events have indicated. And cash, in the form of high-denomination bank notes, is being targeted.
The democratic gains made from the Arab Spring are by no means assured. 2012 will see would-be democracies challenged to respond to and enable an historical transformation from dictatorship to democracy.
On 16 December Japan will decide the winning aircraft bid for the 'F-X' programme. Along with the usual technical considerations, the bidding process has sparked larger strategic questions for the direction of Japan's national security and could pave the way for greater European involvement in Asia.
The anti-government protests following the Russian parliamentary elections on 4 December are indicative of a growing enmity towards the ruling elites. Yet, the ruling elites have opted to re-instate Vladimir Putin as President next year as they see him as the best candidate to shield them from widespread disenchantment unravelling before them