Monday Headlines

The Economist On The State Of Democracy In The World
he Economist scrutinizes the present state of democracy in the world: what has gone wrong with what it terms the “most successful political idea of the 20th century.”

They note that the success has come to a halt in the 21st century and may even be on a reverse course and point to the annual reports from Freedom House that have documented this trend.

In fact, their most recent report shows that for the ninth consecutive year overall freedom dropped as a consequence of “more aggressive tactics by authoritarian regimes and an upsurge in terrorist attacks.”

And, the essay contends, things are even worse.

“And democracy’s problems run deeper than mere numbers suggest. Many nominal democracies have slid towards autocracy, maintaining the outward appearance of democracy through elections, but without the rights and institutions that are equally important aspects of a functioning democratic system,” argues The Economist.

Analysis Of Upcoming Elections In The Congo
The International Crisis Group looks ahead to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 2016 presidential and legislative elections on which the political future of the country depends.

Algeria Refocuses Fight On Border To Counter Smugglers
As fears increase about the growing influence and presence of al Qaeda and ISIS in its country, Algeria’s army is shifting its attention from fighting Islamist militants at home to the Sahel border smuggling, reports Reuters UK.

“Algeria’s army is aware that fighting terrorism in the Sahel is useless if you do not include fighting smugglers,” security analyst and writer Anis Rahmani tells the wire service.

The decision comes days after Interpol alerted Algerian authorities that as many as 1,500 people believed to be Islamic State (ISIS) fighters were attempting to gain entry along that border with fake passports.

An Algerian security force recently told Algeria’s El-Khabar newspaper that they had “received detailed information from Interpol regarding the identities of extremists and fighters from 33 countries who are members of ISIS.”

Last year, Algeria closed its borders to prevent terrorist infiltration, but that effort is having negative consequences on the country’s trade flow and leading to a rise in protests, reports Jane’s Defense.

Seymour Hirsh Questions Details Of Killing Of Bin Laden
Seymour Hirsh has an article in the London Review of Books that includes explosive allegations about the White House’s account of events that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. The White House has called the report “baseless.”

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