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Football's Communities, U.S.-Taliban Prisoner Swap, and More

Author: CFR.org Editors
June 6, 2014

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The Beautiful Game
By Kanishk Tharoor
Cairo Review of Global Affairs

"Used by anti-colonial rebels and right-wing dictators alike, football has channeled narratives both subversive and authoritarian. Societies can find a mirror for their hopes and anxieties in the collective striving of eleven men in shorts. This is true even in the era of globalization, of which the multi-billion dollar industry of football is an integral part; the sport can both leap across national borders and conjure them."

Kolkata before FIFA World CupA boy heads a soccer ball in front of a decorated roadside wall with FIFA World Cup players and teams' national flags on the outskirts of Kolkata, ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, June 6, 2014. (Photo: Courtesy Reuters)
Bergdahl and the 'Guantanamo Five': The Long-Awaited U.S.-Taleban Prisoner Swap
By Kate Clark
Afghanistan Analysts Network

"It is well worth reading through the men's Guantanamo files, which can be found in official documents released under a Freedom of Information request (made by The New York Times and NPR or through Wikileaks (published by McClatchy). The US 'intelligence' on the detainees is shocking in its mistakes on facts, misconceptions and problems with basic justice: as AAN has reported, many of the allegations are unsubstantiated and bizarre, showing a poor knowledge of the Taleban and Afghanistan before 2001."

A Cold Shoulder in the Cold War: Iran's Foreign Minister Snubs a Saudi Invite
By Suzanne Maloney
Brookings Institution

"There will be no true rapprochement, but Iran and Saudi Arabia will continue to probe the possibilities of a wary detente even as they each continue to fuel the competition, and the bloodshed, particularly in arenas such as Syria."

The Specter of June Fourth
By Perry Link
ChinaFile

"The specter of the "June Fourth massacre" has had remarkable longevity. It not only haunts the memories of people who witnessed the events and of friends and families of the victims, but persists also in the minds of people who stood, and still stand, with the Chinese state."

Girl Left in Forest in C. African Republic Chaos
By Krista Larson
Associated Press

"Over the past year, conflict between Muslims and Christians has killed thousands of people in the Central African Republic, a nation of about 4.6 million that sits almost precisely at the heart of Africa. As families flee, it is often children who carry the weight of the crisis on their backs."

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