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“A real and clear danger,” is how United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on April 3 described North Korea. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and South Korea Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se have held a joint press conference in Washington to emphasize military and security partnership.
On March 22, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel reached out the hand of peace by telephoning Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to apologize. Often belligerent “Bibi” Netanyahu was making amends for the notorious incident in 2010, when Israeli armed forces boarded a Turkish ship attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to occupied Gaza.
“We are you, and you are us.” That is how Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described alliance with the United States while visiting Washington a year ago.
'What about the rest of the North?' asked McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation, back in the 1970s while considering yet one more grant to help the troubled Native Americans of Alaska. The initial reaction of a young staffer asked to research the question was that the boss was making some strange reference to the Civil War.
Cuba's President Raul Castro has made notable news by announcing on Feb. 24 that he will retire from that office in 2018. His older brother Fidel stepped down from the same post in 2008, after turning 85 years of age.
“South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction,” was how North Korea diplomat Jon Yong Ryong responded to intense criticism of his country's test of a nuclear weapon on Feb. 12.
“Eye for eye, tooth for tooth ...” is a useful starting place for discussion of the rule of Pope Benedict XVI in the wake of the stunning announcement he will retire at the end of the month. To modern readers, the Biblical quote (Exodus 21:24) may seem cruel and rigid, but the Old Testament sentiment actually involved revolutionary flexibility and progress.
“I am shocked, shocked to find ... gambling ...” This famous line of the cynical Captain Renault to nightclub manager Rick in the film classic “Casablanca” comes to mind in reflecting on the practices of American credit rating agencies.
“The happy and powerful do not go into exile” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville, the brilliant visitor from France who struggled to understand the dynamic new American nation nearly two centuries ago. His trip to the United States in the 1830s, and his book, “Democracy in America,” speak directly to the historic current reform of immigration.
The inauguration of Barack Obama of Illinois, the 44th President of the United States, for a second term in that office is a historic occasion in ways subtle and obvious. As the first African-American to hold the highest national political office, he personifies an especially important milestone.
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