Monday, June 29, 2015
A legislative victory on trade this past week has given a vital boost to President Barack Obama's effort to deepen U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. His administration also navigated worrying tensions with mainland China by stressing at high-level talks in Washington how the two powers can cooperate on issues of global concern, like climate change.
When mainland China's main share index hit a seven-year high two weeks ago, it topped off a run that had seen it soar more than 150 percent over the previous 12 months, high among the world's best performers.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Gustave Flaubert's great novel "Madame Bovary" builds itself around a series of rich and complex "community events." These events in the hands of Flaubert can be elaborate indeed. But the event itself need not be.
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)
Nearly two decades after the fall of dictator Suharto forced Indonesia's military out of politics, the army is inching back into civilian roles, risking a setback for democracy in this Southeast Asian nation and perhaps even for the turbulent region.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emerged undamaged from the global financial crisis, European bailouts, an astonishing U-turn on nuclear power and the crisis over Ukraine.
The United States found a stage to deliver a stern reminder to the People's Republic of China (PRC), which is continuing its high-handed behavior in maritime areas and in cyberspace, that it needs to follow the rules and fulfill its responsibilities as a major power.
If the struggle to recover from the 2008-09 global economic crisis were to be viewed as a competition among the benighted nations, neutral spectators would be rooting most for Iceland, a perennial economic underdog that has done what the United States and other countries refused to do. It let its banks fail. It let them fall on the swords they forged themselves. This is moral common sense at its finest.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Every Ramadan there is always one issue circulating here in Indonesia: whether or not food stalls are allowed to be opened during this Islamic fasting month.
PARIS-International development assistance still remains a vital element in reducing global poverty. What's known as Official Development Assistance (ODA) has now reached record levels of more than US$135 billion annually and is channeled to a group of 148 countries ranging from the poorest of the poor such as Bangladesh and Haiti to better-off but needy lands such as Egypt and Kenya.