Bloody terrorist attacks in Paris dominated the discussions of top representatives of the Group of 20 (G-20) nations held Nov. 15-16 in Antalya, Turkey. Related to providing effective security, the gathering devoted focused attention to helping the massive flow of refugees from the Middle East, stemming primarily from the Syria civil war.
The meeting between President Xi Jinping of China and President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan in Singapore on Nov. 7 was historic. Media reports that the face-to-face discussion was "symbolic" are highly misleading. The summit reflects long-term steadily expanding cooperation, as well as extensive preparation.
November brings Veterans Day in the U.S., and also this year the 50th anniversary of the major battle in the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam involving the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division. Casualty rates on both sides made this one of the costliest battles of that long war, and ironically reinforced the strategies of both Hanoi and Washington.
The decision by President Vladimir Putin of Russia to intervene directly in the brutal combat in Syria greatly increases the dangers as well as stakes involved in the fighting. Make no mistake -- the presence of Russian warplanes in proximity to those of the U.S. increases the possibility of inadvertent combat, which could escalate rapidly.
October is the scary month, and not just because of Halloween. Just over one-half century ago, the Cuban Missile Crisis during Oct. 22-28, 1962 dominated global news as Washington and Moscow sparred right on the edge of thermonuclear war.
On Oct. 10, twin bomb blasts devastated an area of Ankara, capital city of Turkey, where a protest rally was underway. People had gathered to condemn the government's attacks on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a separatist organization officially regarded as a terrorist movement.
Once again in Afghanistan, the Taliban has captured headlines through a spectacular and startling military attack. On Sept. 28, the extremist Islamic movement overran the major city of Kunduz. Afghan government forces were quick to counterattack. Reliable sources report the Afghan military retook the city center Oct. 5, but fighting continues. The inadvertent U.S. attack on a hospital adds further complication.
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.
"An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," is a useful starting place for discussion of the influence of Pope Francis during his historic visit to the Americas. To modern readers, the Biblical quote (Exodus 21:24) may seem cruel and brutal, but the Old Testament sentiment actually meant revolutionary progress.
"Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh and blood people," declared Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates. She made the statement in an interview regarding important new rules which emphasize prosecuting individuals as well as banks as institutions. The regulations were issued on Sept. 9.