The steep drop in the price of oil we have seen the past few weeks threatens to have profound political consequences. It provides a welcome respite to strained economies that import fuel, but at the same time it puts pressure on countries heavily dependent on exports, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Russia.
As the Turkish government continues to squeeze freedom of expression, many Turks have found themselves resorting increasingly to social media in order to learn what's going on in their country. (92 percent of Turkey's online population now uses social media, the highest share in the world.) But this refuge is now coming under severe pressure as well. And the trend is particularly noticeable in the case of Twitter.
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Larry Diamond makes the case for promoting democracy at a time when autocrats are riding high.
Only a few days separate Tunisia from another historic achievement. For the second time since the ouster of the country's longtime autocratic leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali nearly four years ago, millions of Tunisians are set to flock to polling booths this Sunday, Oct. 26. (In the photo above, a Tunisian expat casts an early vote in Paris.)
Coverage of Libya tends to focus these days on airstrikes, gun battles, and warring militias -- correctly enough, since these are also the things that tend to loom large in the lives of Libyans. Yet even amid the current chaos it's important to remember that the country still has institutions, and that their continued existence is crucial to the survival of the most basic mechanisms of modern life. One prime example is the central bank.