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Summer brings hot weather, especially politically on the Korea Peninsula. North Korea has announced that two detained American tourists, Jeffrey Edward Fowle and Matthew Todd Miller, will be put on trial for provocative acts. Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae has been imprisoned since November 2012.
The Fourth of July weekend in the United States celebrates community, local as well as national. Parades featuring people in uniform -- scouts, firefighters and police as well as the military -- traditionally are a fixture. Military uniforms remind us of the role of war in our history -- and present. The current Veterans Administration scandals remind us of how serious related problems can become.
The Middle East, always in turmoil, may have been upended in fundamental strategic terms by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, referred to generally by the shorthand label ISIL. The movement seemingly has emerged from nowhere, at least in terms of general public awareness and media attention.
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"The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression," bas become standard shorthand for the global financial crash and resulting severe recession. This fall, we will mark the sixth anniversary of the 2008 benchmark bankruptcy of investment house Lehman Brothers.
The furor over the American POW Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl continues to escalate. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on June 11 faced hostile questioning before the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives. Members of Congress complain the White House broke the law by not consulting in advance
The telecom hills are alive with the sounds of mergers, with two at crescendo. In February, Comcast agreed to purchase Time Warner for US$45 billion. AT&T last month announced its purchase of DirecTV, which if confirmed is valued at approximately US$48.5 billion. Other possible deals provide background music, including a Sprint-T-Mobile merger.
From ancient times, amphibious military invasions have rightly been regarded as particularly difficult. This week marks the seventieth anniversary of the greatest such operation, the Allies' invasion of France in World War II, on June 6, 1944 -- D-Day.
The scandal regarding the Veterans Administration continues to escalate rapidly, providing a major ethical as well as a political challenge to the Obama administration. Allegations of willful neglect and falsification of records are indeed shocking. Vietnam War Marine Corps Veteran Mike Jeffords of Janesville was featured May 22 on CBS News describing his own and other veterans' long-term frustration with the VA.
Nations from the north to the south of East Asia are demonstrating the high price of rejecting freedom in our contemporary world. North Korea is sending drone aircraft south of the 38th Parallel. Vietnam is beset with protests against foreign investment from China. All three governments have so far succeeded only in embarrassing themselves.
A prominent and powerful man is embarrassed when private comments made behind closed doors are leaked to the media, causing a storm of criticism. There are calls for his removal by people who find his remarks utterly unacceptable and contemptible
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