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The stage has been all set for the second round of Israel-Palestine peace talks to get under way in Israel or the West Bank before this week ends at the earliest.
Snapping turtle is a delicacy in China and Japan. It's considered an aphrodisiac, and its blood was believed to cure tuberculosis in those days when consumption was regarded as incurable. To get hot blood of the turtle, which had to be mixed with wine and drunk, a quack had to cut off its head.
The rectification of names is a Confucian doctrine, which seems to be still followed by quite a number of historians in Taiwan who must have studied Western historiology.Otherwise, there wouldn't be a dispute over whether "Japanese rule" or "Japanese occupation" should be used in the elementary and high school textbooks of Chinese history.
Since last May the United States and Russia have been trying to organize another Geneva conference for the settlement of the Syrian civil war. It follows the first one called by the U.N. Action Group on Syria in June 2012.
Egypt is back to square one. That means the military is back in power, after a one-year interregnum of Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood. Well, it's not at all unusual. Military rule is a rule, rather than exception in Egypt.
There is one very apt proverb in the Book of Proverbs that warns against hubris. "Pride goeth before a fall," it runs. Hubris, to which ancient Greek playwrights attributed the fall of heroes in classic Greek tragedies, spelt the doom of mortals who had become so powerful as to think they were equals of Olympians who, then, punished the human upstarts.
In Jane Austen's memorable Pride and Prejudice, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy overcame their respective prejudice and pride leading them both to surrender to the love they have for each other in nineteenth century England. In twenty-first century Taiwan, the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party do not even want to try to overcome their pride and prejudice, respectively, to get the country ticking on in an increasingly dangerous world where economic globalization is ruthless.
Thucydides was a Greek historian and Athenian general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth century B.C. war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 B.C. He is known as the father of scientific history, whose Melian Dialogue remains a seminal work of international relations theory still studied at advanced military colleges worldwide.
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They are very much alike. Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea and Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan were born four years apart in the former Japanese colonies. Roh and Chen both studied law, were defense lawyers before turning to politics, and got elected president of their respective countries with an anti-corruption agenda almost at the same time.
Beijing will be hosting next year's APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum, and China's scholars and Taiwan experts are talking about whether President Ma Ying-jeou may attend its informal summit meeting. Opinions were exchanged at a seminar at Peking University sponsored by the Taiwan Office of the State Council last week.
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