March 6, 2013 |
An arms embargo on Somalia will be eased for a year, allowing the country's new government to buy some weapons to battle religious extremists, the U.N. Security Council said Wednesday. The Security Council resolution adopted Wednesday maintains the ban on surface-to-air missiles, higher-caliber guns, howitzers and mortars, anti-tank weapons and other heavy firepower, but allows other arms to be sold to Somali security forces. It bars those arms from being resold to anyone else. The Somali government is also required to inform a U.N. committee before any weapons or military equipment are delivered and provide details about the shipments.
February 3, 2013 |
Last month, Cuba opened its doors a little wider. President Raul Castro announced that Cuban citizens would no longer need to obtain notoriously hard to get exit permits to leave the country; just a passport. Many Cubans are understandably skeptical of Castro's action. No doubt some Cubans will still be denied passports, and there are still many restrictions on travel. Athletes, musicians and members of the military, for example, still have to obtain special permission from big brother (or, in this case, little brother, Raul)
July 2, 2012 |
TEHRAN - As a European Union oil embargo took effect, a defiant Iran said Sunday that it was beginning a new round of war games that would involve firing missiles at models of foreign air bases. The war games are an example of how Iranian leaders are projecting an image of strength at a time when the country's sanctions-battered economy is in a downward spiral. Iran also is facing the possibility of attack because of its nuclear program, and its major Arab ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, is struggling to put down an armed rebellion.
January 24, 2012 |
Europe slapped a boycott on Iranian oil Monday, signaling that the Islamic Republic's second-largest market is likely to dry up as part of a U.S.-led sanctions campaign that has already inflicted serious damage on Iran's economy and sharply increased tensions. The value of Iran's currency is falling dramatically, prices are rising and Iranians are stocking up on supplies in fear of worse to come. Iran, which receives an estimated 70% of its revenue from oil sales, has threatened to retaliate by choking off the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz at the southern end of the Persian Gulf.
October 11, 2011 |
As trade embargoes go, this one probably won't make it into the history books. It won't have much impact on the economy or create shortages of critical goods. But a decision by the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture to ban all sales of palm fronds to Israel this year was, at the least, not very neighborly. Wednesday at sundown marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, an autumn celebration of God's providence and bounty. Part of the celebration involves gathering four plants, including a date palm branch or lulav, which is used during a prayer and other parts of a religious service.
September 8, 2011 |
President Obama will have to decide by next week whether to continue, for yet another year, provisions of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. Without a presidential extension, these provisions — though not others that were instituted by congressional action — will end this month. The ending of the embargo is long overdue. The current economic crisis provides a useful rationale for doing so. There is precedent for taking such a step with a communist nation during hard times. In the face of the Depression, prominent American businessmen began arguing that recognition of the Soviet Union would lead to a substantial increase in trade and so provide a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy.