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Petrobras scandal casts cloud over Brazil's prospects

The vast corruption scandal engulfing Petrobras comes after years of problems tied to excessively political management of the company. Public anger both at the scandal and an economic slowdown is undermining President Dilma Rousseff's popularity.

Iraqi Kurdistan: the essential briefing

The Kurdistan Regional Government enjoys many of the trappings of an independent state, but its leaders are cautious of the new challenges independence would create.

Eastern Europe's demographic challenges

Workforces throughout Eastern Europe are entering long-term structural decline – could immigration improve matters?

Negative outlook for Russian economy as sanctions bite

With more severe sanctions threatened if a ceasefire in Ukraine is not adhered to, Russia's economic prospects look unpromising.

Iran nuclear talks approach conclusive deadline

Iran and its interlocutors have until 24 March to reach an agreement on the country's nuclear programme.

France's nuclear conservatism

Those hoping that President François Hollande would use a recent speech to break with France's nuclear traditions will have been disappointed.

Japan's defence budget bolsters altered military roles

Japan's defence spending is an effort by Shinzo Abe to carve out a greater regional security role.

Greek defiance raises questions for Europe

In seeking a radical reduction of its debt burden, Greece risks being forced to exit the eurozone. Although there is political will on all sides not to allow this to happen, a great deal is at stake for both the Greek and German governments, making it hard for them to compromise.