Global Trade Alert has just published its 2013 report on international trade, and raised the alarm on “Protectionism’s Quiet Return.”

In the cross-hairs of this free-trade advocacy group are the G20 countries, which have been taking more and more protectionist measures since the financial crisis broke out in 2008.

From the anti-dumping EU measures on Chinese solar panels to a “Buy American” campaign in the US, find out how the world economies attempt to *protect* themselves by keeping out the economic firepower (and products) of foreigners...

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Among the latest protectionist measures was the EU's decision to impose tariffs on Chinese solar panels. photo: Fernando Tomás

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Geopolitics

Taliban And Iran: The Impossible Alliance May Already Be Crumbling

After the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban rulers retook control of Afghanistan, there were initial, friendly signals exchanged with Iran's Shia regime. But a recent border skirmish recalls tensions from the 1990s, when Iran massed troops on the Afghan frontier.

Taliban troops during a military operation in Kandahar

The clashes reported this week from the border between Iran and Afghanistan were perhaps inevitable.

There are so far scant details on what triggered the flare up on Wednesday between Iranian border forces and Taliban fighters, near the district of Hirmand in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province. Still, footage posted on social media indicated the exchange of fire was fairly intense, with troops on both sides using both light and heavy weaponry.

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