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An end to krysha?

Just as the Covid-19 pandemic imposed the phrase ‘the new normal’ into peoples’ vocabularies, Putin’s war may yet reinforce it. An iron curtain of cultural boycotts and political opprobrium has already descended on Russia, with economic sanctions already being among the strongest, and most unified, in history. The operating environment – not only within Russia …

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A Tale of Two Turkeys

Turkey is now officially known as ‘Turkiye’, in an extensive rebranding operation that will see the new name used in diplomacy, commerce and (ultimately) everyday life. From one side, this can be seen as the nation further embracing its cultural heritage and refusing to be constrained by Western naming conventions. From the other, it is …

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Mali: The Imbalance of Power

France is to withdraw its troops from Mali, in the enforced culmination of a nine-year mission to help preserve security in the porous and febrile West African nation. Parallels can perhaps be drawn with last year’s international retreat from Afghanistan, in terms of a sudden and unexpected change in authority that hastened the departure and …

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Golden Blunders

The UK government is to scrap the ‘golden visa’ scheme, which permits foreign investors to make a substantial financial donation in return for access to a paperwork fast lane, in response to concerns that Russians are exploiting this. This is presumably ahead of announcing a new coat of arms, which will consist of a stable …

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The Faultlines of Fraud

When is a crime not a crime? When it’s a fraud. That at least appears to be the view taken by the UK government, whose Business Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, made the claim last week in an interview claiming that crime levels had dropped by 14%... because fraud was excluded from those figures. Quite apart from …

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Bosnia: Old Enemies, New Threats

The delicate peace and settlement that followed the last major “boots on the ground” conflict in Europe, the Bosnian War, has begun to unravel. Since the Dayton Accords of 1995, which ended the hostilities and created Bosnia and Herzegovina, composed of two distinct power-sharing entities, the largely Serb-populated Republika Srpska and the predominantly Croat-Bosniak Federation of Bosnia and …

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Ghost Employees

What connects 30,000 civil servants in Mozambique, 25,000 in Cameroon, 16,000 in Tanzania and 12,000 in Kenya? Just one thing: they did not exist. Over the last five years, all such groupings were identified as fraudulently sitting on the assorted government payrolls and accounting for millions of dollars in deliberate or mistaken lost revenue. These …

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Untact and finesse…

Late last year, South Korea reinforced a strategy borne from fighting the pandemic: untact. This is, in brief, minimising all unnecessary interactive barriers to human society and economic growth. For instance: creating a full spectrum of contactless service industries, and looking at running increasingly numerous aspects of daily life in the digital arena or even …

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International tension and the changing face of cybercrime: predictions for 2022

The past two pandemic-afflicted years have seen coronavirus  dominate the news agenda, and what would in typical times be headline news, relegated off the front page. As the world prepares to enter the third year of uncertainty, now more than ever must the key events be treated with appropriate gravity; as they will contribute towards …

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