Monday, October 13, 2014
The indictment of a Japanese reporter Wednesday on a criminal defamation charge over a story on South Korean President Park Geun-hye's whereabouts on April 16, the day of the Sewol ferry disaster, has become an international embarrassment for South Korea.
Gulf monarchies taking part in U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria could deploy special forces on the ground but only if certain conditions are met, analysts say.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Responding in part to space I recently offered to two common English words (“We must distinguish between studying and learning English” 9-28-14) a friend wants me to say more here on language related issues. Her wish reached me after last week's attention to the term “decency” appeared, albeit in a social, not to say political context (“On decency and the HK protests” 10-5-14).
'Small but meaningful step,' is how a senior official of South Korea's Unification Ministry described the surprise visit Oct. 4 of top North Korean officials. Hwang Pyong So, close adviser to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, headed the delegation, which crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which divides the two Koreas.
Gay rights groups are cautiously cheering a shift in tone from the Catholic Church toward homosexuals, encouraged that Pope Francis' famous “Who am I to judge?” position has filtered down to bishops debating family issues at a Vatican meeting this week.
The wars between Israel and Hamas tend to be futile and frustrating for all. Each side ends up more or less where it began, having learned little, entrenched in its position, preparing for the next pointless, deadly round.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Hong Kong has always been a city of contrasts. Wealth, a free economy, a feisty media and rule of law have always contrasted with poverty, crowding and claustrophobia.
The lightning rise of the Islamic State group is turning it into a magnet for Muslim extremists, as U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria help galvanize support for their cause.
U.S. President Barack Obama is increasingly touting the economic recovery in a bid to help his party retain narrow control over the Senate in November elections, a campaign strategy fraught with risk at a time when his popularity is down and many Americans are frustrated that their lives have not improved despite the emergence from recession.
The Occupy Central movement may not win everything it has demanded, but it has forever redefined Hong Kong politics. Seen from a broad historical view, it has won plenty.