1. Unwilling to Reform, France, Italy Miss Budget Targets

    Slow to structurally overhaul their economies, France and Italy continue to miss their fiscal targets.

    France and Italy on Wednesday announced separately that they would fail to meet their budget targets before 2017 in a setback for the austerity and economic liberalization agenda of Europe's largest economy, Germany. In a statement accompanying its draft…
  1. Staking Out Middle Ground, Cameron Promises Britain Tax Relief

    In his last conference speech before May’s election, Britain’s David Cameron promised tax relief under the next government.

    In a markedly patriotic speech, Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday told his Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham he would use a next five years in government to build "a Britain everyone is proud to call home." Drawing a…
  1. Brazil’s Rousseff Retakes Poll Lead as Voters Doubt Challenger

    Brazilians aren’t necessary enthusiastic about their president but wonder whether her challenger can do a better job.

    Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, has widened her lead over her closest rival, polls show. Earlier surveys had Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva with more support but as the election draws nearer, the Workers' Party incumbent looks likely to stay in office…
  1. Afghanistan Finally Signs Security Agreement with United States

    On the first day of his government, Afghanistan’s new president ratifies a long term security accord with America.

    Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, has managed to be more productive in one day than his predecessor, Hamid Karzai, was for months. After nearly a year of stalling by Karzai's administration over concerns about excessive civilian…
  1. Britain’s Osborne Proposes Benefits Freeze, Pension Tax Cuts

    George Osborne promises a next Conservative government will freeze benefits for working age Britons and overhaul pensions.

    Britain's chancellor George Osborne on Monday promised a next Conservative Party government would freeze welfare benefits for people of working age and abolish taxes on pensions. In a conference speech, he positioned his as the "party of…
  1. French Socialists Lose Upper House Majority

    Another setback for President François Hollande who is now France’s least popular leader in more than half a century.

    President François Hollande's ruling Socialist Party lost its majority in the French Senate on Sunday. Marine Le Pen's Front national won its first two seats in the upper chamber but the majority went to the mainstream conservative Union pour un mouvement populaire.…
  1. Conservative Party Defections Cast Cloud Over Conference

    Rather than worry about the upcoming election, Conservatives wonder who will be next to head over to UKIP.

    Today marks the start of the British Conservative Party's final conference before the general election in May. The affair was meant to be a large one this year, with several new policy announcements concerning, among other things, the growing…
  1. Britain, Denmark Join Coalition Against Islamic State

    The two NATO countries support the air campaign over Iraq but stop short of participating in strikes against Syria.

    Denmark and the United Kingdom joined an international coalition against Islamic State militants on Friday but like Belgium and the Netherlands, which announced they would send F-16 fighter jets to support the air campaign a day earlier,…
  1. Bashar Assad: Root of Islamic State’s Evil

    A strategy to defeat the Islamic State would be incomplete without a plan to remove its sponsor in Damascus.

    Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an interview with America's PBS earlier this week he still considers his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, as much a threat to the Middle East as the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State. It was…