Protestors Begin to Gather in Amman
Protesters gathered for a pro-reform rally following Friday prayers in Amman, Jordan. The protest, organized by the Islamic Action Front, occurred despite King Abdullah’s decision to dissolve Parliament and call for early elections.
Pakistani Politician Plans Drone Protest in Off-Limits Tribal Area
Richard Leiby/Washington Post
Aspiring Pakistani politician Imran Khan planned to stage a massive anti-drone rally in South Waziristan over the weekend. The planned rally may not occur, as the Pakistani army, which controls access to the tribal area, and local officials have expressed concern.
Venezuela Election: Chavez and Capriles in Final Ralliesan Threatens Attacks on U.S. Bases in Event of War
Incumbent Hugo Chavez and opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski have ended their respective campaigning prior to Sunday’s election. Chavez has held the office for 14 years; an electoral win would see him President for another 6 six-year term.
West Seizes on Iran’s Currency Woes
Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman/The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. and Europe are working on new coordinated measures intended to accelerate the recent plunge of Iran’s currency and drain its foreign-exchange reserves, according to officials from the Obama administration, U.S. Congress and European Union.
EU Energy Chief ‘Satisfied’ with Nuclear Safety Despite Critical Report
Fiona Harvey/The Guardian
Stress test of 145 reactors reveals hundreds of defects, but Güenther Oettinger says ‘generally the situation is satisfactory’.
Opinion Leaders: Still the Most Important PD (Public Diplomacy) Audience
Mary Jeffers/Take Five
Over the years, debates have raged within U.S. Public Diplomacy about how much energy and resources to direct towards “opinion leaders” (journalists, professors, artists, political and social movement leaders) and how much towards the broad general public (e.g. via youth outreach.)
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Iran: The Efficacy of Economic Sanctions and the Need for Substantive Dialogue
The sanctions imposed on Iran are having an effect. Yet economic coercion alone may not cause Iran to capitulate on its nuclear program and thus must be underpinned by a substantive diplomatic engagement. This was the underlying theme throughout an Atlantic Council-sponsored event entitled, “Time to Rethink Policy toward Iran.”
Sanctions: The Currency Effect
It is still unclear what the consequences of domestic unrest in Iran will be fleeting or something more profound. But one thing is certain: international sanctions seem to be having an effect on Iran’s economy.
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