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The Problem with Completely Free Markets
Mark Thoma July 6, 2015

Conservative political rhetoric often celebrates the "free market" and advocates for policies that minimize government intervention in the market. TCF fellow Mark Thoma argues that we must understand the difference between free markets and competitive markets, and makes the case that government intervention often helps to achieve more competitive markets.

The role that government should play in the economy is sure to be a centerpiece of the debate surrounding the upcoming presidential election. Those on the right will champion the idea that markets should be free, while those on the left will hold a more interventionist point of view. I believe in markets as much as anyone. But for markets to work well the conditions for perfect competition must be approximated. In many important markets such as healthcare, retirement security, energy, and finance, that means the government must be involved. 

Thoma's full column is available here.

Egypt Marks 2nd Anniversary of Islamist Ouster With Mourning
Michael Wahid Hanna July 6, 2015

This weekend marked the second anniversary of the Egyptian military's overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. However, in place of the expected celebrations was a prayer for those who had died in two separate Jihadist attacks. ABC News spoke with TCF senior fellow Michael Hanna about the situation in the country. 

Michael Hanna, a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Century Foundation, sees an "escalatory cycle ... deteriorating security is eroding confidence in the capacity of the regime but at the same time also reinforcing hard-line trends in Egyptian society with respect of how to deal with these security threats."

The full article is available here.

Extremist Attacks Put Egypt On Edge, And State Propaganda Isn’t Helping
Michael Wahid Hanna July 6, 2015

Recent extremist violence has brought upheaval in Egypt into the public eye. In the Huffington Post, Sophia Jones discusses the Egyptian government's public relations response with TCF senior fellow Michael Hanna:

"It's clear that there's a lot of focus on managing public perception and public relations," Michael Hanna, Egypt expert and senior fellow at The Century Foundation, told The WorldPost. "There's too much information out there for Egypt to really be able to do this successfully."

The full article is available here.

Syria’s Humanitarians Are Going Broke
Thanassis Cambanis July 6, 2015

Syria's civil war is now in its fifth year, and international attention has waned. In Foreign Policy, TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis chronicles the tolls that declines in funding have taken on humanitarian organizations in Syria.

Money problems are now afflicting every organization trying to help Syrians. Interest in the grinding conflict has flagged; sporadic political attention and media coverage mostly focus on the Islamic State, while fewer and fewer governments respond to the United Nations’ “urgent appeals” for aid. According to the latest U.N. figures, only about one-fourth of the needed money for Syria has been pledged this year.

The full article is available here.

Jihadist Attacks on Egypt Grow Fiercer
Michael Wahid Hanna July 6, 2015

The past week has seen an uptick in Jihadist violence in Egypt, with the assassination of the country's Prosecutor General and a coordinated attack on the Egyptian military by a group affiliated with the Islamic State. TCF senior fellow Michael Hanna spoke with the New York Times about the latest developments in the country.

The rising tide of violence did not threaten to topple the government and may, at least for now, rally the nation behind Mr. Sisi’s get-tough approach, Mr. Hanna said. “It might erode confidence in Sisi, but they are not going anywhere, because the state is essentially unified,” he said.

The full article is available here.

Militants Stage Series Of Deadly Attacks In Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula
Michael Wahid Hanna July 6, 2015

Following attacks on the Egyptian military by Jihadist forces in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, TCF senior fellow Michael Hanna spoke with NPR about the event. Hanna argues that the attacks have exposed weaknesses in Egypt's military strategy:

MICHAEL WAHID HANNA: It's obviously a major failing on the part of the Egyptian military despite ongoing military operations.

KENNEDY: That's Michael Wahid Hanna, a Middle East analyst at the Century Foundation.

HANNA: I think this is a deeply rooted problem, and the Egyptian state does not appear to have the capacities to deal with this effectively. 

The full transcript of the article is available here.

Prosecutor’s death a blow to Egypt’s Sisi
Michael Wahid Hanna July 6, 2015

Following the assassination of Egypt's top prosecutor, the Straits Times analyzes the events through the lens of insurgency in Egypt over the last two years, interviewing TCF fellow Michael Hanna in the process:

The rise of the new groups coincided with a shift in the insurgency's focus: After nearly two years of attacks mainly against the security services, killing hundreds of soldiers and police officers, the militants have broadened their targets to include civilian officials in the judiciary.

It marks "a pretty serious escalation", said Mr Michael Wahid Hanna, an Egypt expert with the New York-based The Century Foundation think-tank.

The full article is available here.

Egypt’s president vows ‘swift justice’ after assassination
Michael Wahid Hanna July 6, 2015

Following the assassination of Egypt's Prosecutor General, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has announced plans to modify the judicial process. TCF fellow Michael Hanna spoke with the Associated Press about the new measures:

Michael Hanna, a senior fellow at the U.S.-based Century Foundation, said new judicial measures could open the door to further abuses if, as in the past, they "subvert the rule of law."
"This kind of swift hard action is one way to deflect attention away from what is a very real security failure," he said. "It provides a legal procedural pathway to manifestly unjust outcomes."  

The full article is available here.

Egypt state prosecutor dies after bomb attack on convoy
Michael Wahid Hanna July 6, 2015

Egypt's leading prosecutor was assassinated on June 29. TCF fellow Michael Hanna spoke with the Telegraph about what the assassination will mean for Egypt's future:

Cairo’s reaction to Mr Barakat’s assassination is likely to be fierce. “This kind of escalating violence reinforces the hardliners and shrinks the options available to Sisi,” said Michael Hanna, a senior fellow at Washington-based Century Foundation.

The full article is available here.

Success For U.S.-Backed Fighters In Syria Leads To Political Complications
Thanassis Cambanis July 6, 2015

Kurdish fighters have had recent success fighting ISIS in Syria. However, Turkey is wary that this may give momentum to movements for an independent Kurdish state. In an interview with NPR's Scott Simon, TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis discussed the situation from the perspective of the Kurdish people:

They absolutely are trying to navigate a very dangerous tightrope between Turkish pressure and American help. And they realize if they go too far in an American-backed campaign, the Turks could make their lives untenable. And at the same time, if they don't protect themselves from ISIS, they could be annihilated.

The full transcript is available here.

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