Sunday, December 14, 2014
For years he played the part of the frosty pragmatist, doggedly set on restoring pride and power to a once-great superpower. Then, on Feb. 27, 2014, President Vladimir Putin went rogue.
Barbarism and the law collide in war. The law is vital for mitigating the most brutal aspects of collective killing.
Is it really about the economy? What does Prime Minister Shinzo Abe really hope to achieve by calling a snap general election that is expected to give him another four years in power until December 2018?
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Set to the backdrop of regional wars and simmering ethnic conflicts, the U.N. relief agencies made an unprecedented appeal for wider funding to address the current chaos in a score of countries. Valerie Amos, the U.N.'s emergency aid chief, stated candidly that the number of people affected by conflict “has reached record levels” for the post-WWII era.
The end seems nigh. The original Occupy Central founders have surrendered. The main protest site at Admiralty is being cleared.
A senior Seoul official recently said South Korea was willing to provide North Korea with incentives if necessary to resume the reunions of separated families. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not elaborate on what the South could offer, saying all pending inter-Korean issues could be discussed in a comprehensive way.
A projected landslide victory for Japan's ruling party in Sunday's parliamentary elections could give Prime Minister Shinzo Abe political breathing space to push forward with his long-held nationalist agenda.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Recently on bbc.com there was a story about Russian news website The City Reporter, which decided to publish only “good news” for one day. Thus, on Dec. 1 the website carried only positive headlines such as “No disruption on the roads despite snow.”
Malala's winning the Nobel Peace Prize has led to general jubilation. It also caused some low-intensity myopic national outrage in Pakistan about imperialist manipulation or her being anti-Islam; some diasporic drivel about drone victims being comparably morally superior; and some global silliness such as Time magazine equating her with pop singer Taylor Swift for setting standards of success.
Detailed revelations of the torture used by George W. Bush-era operatives against al-Qaida suspects are only the latest morale-sapping scandal to envelop the Central Intelligence Agency.