Saturday, May 23, 2015
The fall of the critically important city of Ramadi to Islamic State terrorists, the widening humanitarian crisis throughout the country involving millions of displaced persons and the continuing pressures on a still-fragile central government in Baghdad bode ill for Iraq's future stability and security. These setbacks for the beleaguered Baghdad government equally shadow Washington where the Obama administration appears in denial over the depth of this crisis.
Although I write on general trends and try not to predict the future, one has to admit that we have never had a period when data is all over the place and the future is truly murky. Just over 150 years ago, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln said, "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew."
Shortly after announcing it had canceled United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's planned visit to the country this week, North Korea declared it had the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons, which is a step toward building nuclear missiles.
The symbolic gesture of Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting Narendra Modi in Xian, making the Indian prime minister the first world leader to be hosted outside Beijing, underlined the tenacity of historical links between the two peoples. These links embody the Silk Road that connected China and India through trade, scholarship and cultural affinity in an era of soft borders, long before the advent of nation-states and their jealousies and rivalries.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Brazil may have received a US$53 billion investment boost from China but the South American giant would be unwise to view investment from the Asian superpower as a panacea to its economic woes, analysts said.
A crisis engulfing Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants and asylum seekers is currently plaguing Southeast Asia.
The Islamic State group's recent victories have called Barack Obama's Middle East strategy into question and once again made Iraq an issue on the U.S. electoral battlefield.
Data released by the South Korea National Tax Service this week drew attention again to a wide gender wage gap in the country and the need to bring more South Korean women into the workforce.
Shelter remains the top priority for the more than 2.8 million people in Nepal, according to U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who no longer have a roof over their heads.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
European Union leaders and six ex-Soviet states hold a summit Thursday focused on the bloc's Eastern Partnership project, which was designed to bolster mutual ties but has been undermined by Russia's intervention in Ukraine.