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May, 1, 2016

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Commentary
I occasionally lob a ball of sorts here in the direction of local English teachers, hoping that here or there a couple of them (perspicacious colleagues as they are) may grab onto something I say, and bring it to their students for discussion, or contemplation, or both.
 
A world away from this side of the Pacific in California's largest city, where leaders from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors are convening for the annual Milken Institute Global Conference, concerns continue to grow about the sustainability of mainland China's relatively rapid rise.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Britain, including a joint press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron on April 22, underscores the vital partnership between that nation and the United States. The visit also highlights the complementary roles of two influential international leaders -- Prime Minister Cameron and Queen Elizabeth II.
 
Armed with shovels and sacks of cold asphalt, Rome's residents fill potholes. Defying rats, they yank weeds and bag trash along the Tiber's banks and in urban parks. Tired of waiting years for the city to replace diseased trees, neighbors dig into their own pockets to pay for new ones for their block.
 
In thinking about the children caught up in the Syrian refugee crisis, it might be tempting to quote the age-old adage and ignore them as "children of a lesser God." Not quite.
 
Has encryption technology given the bad guys a way to operate in the dark? Or has the new tech age gifted law enforcement with unprecedented surveillance powers?
 
When the Disney movie Frozen was all the rage in South Korea in early 2014, comparisons abounded between the cartoon's ice queen character Elsa and the country's President Park Geun-hye.
 
Once a year, the U.S. president attends a party he can't avoid and is asked to make Washington laugh.
 
The Republic of China (R.O.C.) is party to the conflicts in the Taiwan Strait and the East and South China Seas. Should the military competition between the United States and China lead to war, Taiwan will be part of it. Time to reconsider the strategic importance of a tiny island only 130 kilometers away from the mainland. It is a small but central element of East Asia's security architecture.
 
Ebru Umar was sleeping in her summer residence on Turkey's Aegean coast when police arrived at her door and took her away for questioning about two of her tweets that were deemed offensive to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
 
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