The United States may have averted a debt default, and ended the federal government shutdown, but costly political reverberations continue. The experience of Democratic and Republican leaders frozen in unmoving partisan positions has been unnerving, abroad and at home.
The maneuvering by Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior politicians in Germany to form a viable new government is important for Europe, and beyond. Unfortunately, the alarming partisan budget standoff in Washington D.C. has been preoccupying most related media attention.
Considerable news has been generated by United States military strikes in two countries of Africa, while less commentary is resulting from the passing of a major military leader in Asia, but the two stories are related. Regarding war and revolution, fundamental lessons are enduring.
A new comprehensive report on the environment dramatically declares that global warming is bringing profound changes, and must be addressed urgently regarding causes and consequences. At the end of September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced that comprehensive evidence indicates most global warming since 1950 has occurred because of polluting human activities.
On Sept. 25, Kenya began three days of official mourning following four days of heavy fighting to control a Nairobi shopping mall. The well planned and executed terrorist attack left over 60 people dead in the rubble. Details are still unclear, but according to reports approximately a dozen attackers were killed or captured.
"The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression," bas become standard shorthand for the global financial crash and resulting severe recession. September marks the beginning of fall, and also the anniversary of the 2008 benchmark bankruptcy of investment house Lehman Brothers.
"The Buck Stops Here" read a sign on Pres. Harry Truman's desk; in reacting to use of poison gas in Syria, Pres. Barack Obama is providing decidedly mixed messages. After threatening to retaliate against the Syrian regime, he suddenly asked Congress to approve the use of force.
The fresh air of freedom is pervasive in South Korea. A visit to Seoul provides direct dramatic impressions of the strength and confidence of this remarkable people. The capital city of the nation is only 50 miles from the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), within range of North Korean artillery and rockets.
'I have a dream' is how the Rev. Martin Luther King highlighted his momentous speech in Washington D.C. on Aug. 28, 1963, and that phrase resonates strongly. His address was the centerpiece of the historic March on Washington, which involved over 200,000 people. In June 1963, Pres. John F. Kennedy had addressed the nation, underscoring the importance of his administration's proposed civil rights legislation.
"We're going to have to make some choices, as a society," was President Barack Obama's sensible initial reaction in early June to the revelations of pervasive electronic surveillance of Americans and others by the top secret National Security Agency (NSA). He added that we cannot realistically have 100-percent security and 100-percent privacy, plus "zero inconvenience."