Sunday, October 19, 2014
Rebooting a slowing economy in a nation of 250 million where inequality is rising, a looming decision on raising fuel prices and vulnerability to any U.S. interest rate hikes would be enough to tax any incoming president.
Turkey is turning a deaf ear to insistent pressure to take a more pro-active stance in the fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, adding to existing strains with the West under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Chablis region of France produces the world's purest expression of chardonnay. This statement reflects at least two concepts. First, the practice of judicious use, or even the absence, of oak leaving the grapes to sing their own song.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
In its annual round of diplomatic musical chairs, the General Assembly chose five new members for the coveted seats on the Security Council, the U.N.'s most prestigious body. The new members, Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela begin their two year terms starting in January 2015.
A sudden plunge in the price of oil is sending economic and political shockwaves around the world. Oil exporting countries are bracing for potentially crippling budget shortfalls and importing nations are benefiting from the lowest prices in four years.
The current situation regarding naturalization and loss of nationality in Taiwan is very clear, both according to the law and in practice: non-nationals wishing to acquire Taiwanese nationality are required to first renounce their current nationality (Enforcement Rules of the Nationality Act, Article 8), while current nationals who acquire a foreign nationality may (but are not required to) apply for renunciation of Taiwanese nationality (Nationality Act, Article 11).
Some doctors in countries hit hardest by the deadly Ebola disease decline to operate on pregnant women for fear the virus could spread. Governments face calls from frightened citizens to bar travel to and from afflicted nations. Meanwhile, the stakes get higher as more
Friday, October 17, 2014
In a famous scene from Thailand's award-winning soap opera “The Power of Shadows,” the handsome protagonist gets drunk and rapes the leading lady. He later begs her forgiveness, and they live happily ever after.
In celebrating our American Revolution, we tend to see it as the simple act of a united people whose happy outcome was virtually assured by our declaration of independence in 1776. For us, it becomes an all but inevitable event rather than a messy and contingent business. This view hinders our ability to understand and relate to the revolutions swirling around us, particularly those in the Arab world.
Rumors are a form of cowardice on the part of both their creators and disseminators. Rumors sometimes play a benign role in an oppressed society, as a form of whistle-blowing to expose facts that are detrimental to the authority of those in power. Luckily, we have passed that stage of societal development, yet there are still people, even in legitimate media circles, who like to play with rumors.