"An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is a useful starting place for discussion of the influence of Pope Francis, who is proving to be a remarkably active and activist leader of the Roman Catholic Church. To modern readers, the Biblical quote (Exodus 21:24) may seem brutal, but the Old Testament sentiment actually meant revolutionary progress.
The Nuclear Summit in Washington D.C. concluded April 1 with a formal statement underscoring nuclear weapons control. These are particularly horrific weapons of mass destruction. Press commentary dismissing the exercise as just another diplomats' talkfest is misleading.
Very brutal criminals are facing justice. On March 24, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Radovan Karadzic of genocide. He is responsible for a massacre of approximately 8,000 men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.
U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba is the latest move in a series which spans his tenure in the White House, and occurs in the context of long-term hostility between the two countries. President Calvin Coolidge was the last U.S. chief executive to visit the island nation, in early 1928.
British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle greatly raised the prestige of the lowly detective story with his fictional alter ego Sherlock Holmes. One of Holmes' most brilliant insights concerned something which was not present. In "Silver Blaze" a dog's failure to bark in the night provided the crucial evidence.
"Big Brother Is Watching You" was the pervasive punch-line in British writer George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Recent developments regarding business and government relations give fresh currency to the classic.
In more striking terms than other nations, China presents contrasting images to the world, with both highlighted in recent news. The Group of 20 (G-20) economic summit just concluded in Shanghai represents both the opportunities and challenges of the current global economy.
The death of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia leaves a vacancy in a judicial position which has also been highly partisan. He was one of the most prominent and outspoken conservative political as well as legal voices in the country. Scalia spearheaded public as well as partisan political engagement by judges.
The uncertain Syria cease-fire announced on Feb. 12 may fail, but the cooperation among the nations involved will almost certainly continue. Russia and the United States, with conflicting interests, values and world outlooks, nevertheless are collaborating in efforts to bring some stability and restraint to the brutal killing ground.
The New Hampshire primary election, coming right after the Iowa caucuses, has provided some clarification to the 2016 presidential context. On the Republican side, Donald Trump has fresh momentum, after coming in second in Iowa. For Democrats, Senator Bernie Sanders is confirmed as a strong challenger to Hillary Clinton.