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Sunday, October 4, 2015
I've been back in Taiwan now for three weeks after a recent visit to the United States. Although my stay over there was only for two months, several impressions I picked up are still nagging at me.
Since America's latest school carnage the debate on gun control has flared anew, as every time a mass shooting rocks the nation. The arguments are well-rehearsed, the rival positions seemingly irreconcilable.
John Boehner appears to have stunned everyone, including friends and allies, with his announcement on Sept. 25 that he is leaving the post of speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives -- and also retiring from Congress. This concludes a tour of service in the top leadership post that has been especially difficult.
The similarities between journalism and activism are obvious, but the differences are subtle.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets EU leaders Monday but they will find it hard to bridge gaps on the migrant crisis and the Syrian war that has produced so many of the refugees they must both deal with, analysts say.
The new band of rebel recruits was supposed to prove the United States could train moderate Syrian fighters to defeat the jihadists in the war-ravaged nation. But soon after returning to Syria, the American-backed fighters handed over a quarter of their ammunition and other equipment to a local al-Qaida affiliate, known as the al-Nusra Front.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Among the 193 presidential and ministerial speeches being made during the U.N. General Assembly debate, most will present politically pedantic and often droning restatements of the obvious; that war, terrorism, poverty and the refugee crisis lapping at Europe's shores and hinterland are among the absolute ills affecting the international community. The new and revamped sustainable development goals are then placed on the altar of global diplomacy as the penultimate offering to save the world.
The start of Russian airstrikes in Syria has added yet another dimension to a war that already featured multiple actors pulling in different directions and serving their own interests, say experts.
It will be one of Italy's brand new "hotspots" for identifying newly-arrived migrants -- but as the Pozzallo reception center in Sicily prepares its fingerprinting kits, the EU-led plan for these facilities is still plagued with unresolved issues.
Syrian rebels who oppose both the regime and the Islamic State group have been hit hardest by Russian airstrikes, showing Moscow's determination to defend President Bashar al-Assad against all enemies, analysts say.
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