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Throughout the year, we search the web for the best reads on global affairs. Here are our 10 favourites from 2014.
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When education becomes a terrorist target

In the wake of the school attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, global cooperation is needed to protect schools and students, says Kyle Matthews.

Obama

Cuba deal: A game-changer for U.S. foreign policy?

The diplomatic achievement could rebrand Obama as a soft-power victor, says Matthew Bondy.

Cuba

“An almost unthinkable act of political will”

As historic as the move to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba is, it is just the beginning of a lengthy process, says Mark Entwistle.

Blue-Helmets

How political disagreements endanger peacekeeping

Roland Paris on why operational failure isn’t the biggest risk to peacekeeping.

Cuba

The end of Cuba’s long, isolating winter

After decades, the U.S. and Cuba announced a thaw in diplomatic relations. Here are 15 key reactions to the news.

Syrian

Syrian Refugee Crisis: life inside Lebanon

Ninette Kelley, UNHCR’s representative in Lebanon, on what it means to be living as a Syrian refugee there.

  • How much do we have to give up?


    An exchange between Naomi Klein and Elizabeth Kolbert on the former’s book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. At issue is the question of how much consumption citizens of Western countries will have to give up in order to radically reduce carbon emissions. Published by the New York Review of Books.

  • The secret talks to save Peter Kassig


    The U.S. aid worker was killed by his ISIS captors in November. But before he was, a radical New York lawyer, U.S. officials, and a jihadi scholar worked to free him, reports The Guardian: “That’s when he picked up the phone, called his best jihadist contact, and launched an improbable series of back-channel talks.”

  • Measuring fragility


    It wasn’t that long ago that Syria was considered a sturdy police state while Lebanon was teetering on the edge of complete chaos. Now Syria is in shambles while Lebanon soldiers on, despite a massive influx of refugees from Syria. Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton on what makes a real fragile state, for Foreign Affairs.

  • China’s nouveau riche


    China is certainly much much richer than it was when Deng Xiaoping opened up the country’s markets. But is it happier? Nathan Vanderklippe profiles six of “Deng’s children” – the nouveau riche of China – for the Globe and Mail: “As China’s economy slows to a pace not seen in decades, it also faces a moment to consider the sweep of its modern history.”

  • The new nuclear pioneers


    There is a renewed interest in nuclear energy, both from young engineers and wealthy investors, writes Josh Freed in the latest Brookings essay. That interest is being spurred by climate change. And this isn’t your grandfather’s nuclear energy. New plants have the potential to be cleaner and safer than ever before.

  • Rebel Rulers


    Meet the self-declared rulers of Donetsk and Lugansk. Currently in charge of Donetsk is Alexander Zakharchenko, who “has been slow to take on some of the deftness required of an elected politician”. In the Lugansk People’s Republic, it’s Igor Plotnitsky, “who looks like a Godfather extra with the eyebrows of Brezhnev.” By Courtney Weaver for FT.

In Depth

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