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October, 22, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Arthur Cyr
The U.S. 2016 presidential campaign seems different. Traditionally, the Republicans have nominated a known-quantity candidate with extensive government experience. The Democrats are more given to surprises.
"The country that invented drama and democracy is not disappointing," is how Bloomberg News described unfolding political and economic developments in Greece. The phrase was used in a news analysis several years ago, but remains apt to the now long-term European melodrama featuring the Greeks center stage.
Turkey has shifted significantly in the war against ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria), and is now striking the enemy directly and permitting the United States-led coalition to use air bases. On July 28, an emergency North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting was held in Brussels, at Turkey's request. Alliance solidarity was reconfirmed.
A woman will be the next president of Taiwan, whichever party wins the election next January. On July 19, the governing Kuomintang (KMT) selected Hung Hsiu-chu as its presidential candidate. The presidential election will match her against Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the principal opposition, and their 2012 presidential nominee.
The national election in the UK in May provided a devastating defeat to public opinion polls as well as political parties. The center-right Conservative Party won an unexpected clear majority in the House of Commons, which forms governments. Prime Minister David Cameron's new government is moving fast to exploit victory.
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Former United States Sen. James Webb has declared himself a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for president. He formally announced on July 2, just before the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
"Unacceptable," is how President Francois Hollande of France describes current revelations regarding extensive spying by the United States government. Wikileaks files regarding France published in June reveal the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spied on three former presidents and wiretapped two finance ministers.
The intense conflict between the European Union (EU) and heavily indebted Greece continues. On June 22, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed concessions involving more taxes. On June 25, Greece's government rejected counter-demands, risking default on an impending payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Violent clashes involving Chinese ships and Vietnamese fishing boats are the latest in a series of maritime disputes which span the vast Pacific region.
Turkey's electorate has voted for democracy and the rule of law over incipient dictatorship, a most positive development. In June 7 parliamentary elections, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) was abandoned by many voters. The ruling party won the largest bloc of seats in parliament, but lost the majority.
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