Sunday, May 24, 2015
University professors offer students carefully honed syllabi for courses at the start of each semester. These syllabi list boring details such as the instructor's contact information, goals of the course (not so boring, I hope), instructional methods, rules and policies, weekly assignments, and other cool items.
Politically correct Filipinos are caught in a bind. On the showdown with Beijing in the West Philippine Sea, the nationalist position is to oppose China's aggression, expose its outrageous "nine-dash line," and resist its creeping conquest of contested islands.
"Egregious" and "grotesque" is how United States Secretary of State John Kerry has described North Korea's reckless international provocations, and brutal executions of victims who incur the wrath of leader Kim Jong Un.
Shortly after seizing power in a coup that followed months of debilitating street protests, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha vowed to end Thailand's decade of political upheaval once and for all. In his words, "to bring everything out in the open and fix it."
If there is one new global leader who captured public imagination in the last year, it is India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi; 365 days on, how has he performed?
Saturday, May 23, 2015
The fall of the critically important city of Ramadi to Islamic State terrorists, the widening humanitarian crisis throughout the country involving millions of displaced persons and the continuing pressures on a still-fragile central government in Baghdad bode ill for Iraq's future stability and security. These setbacks for the beleaguered Baghdad government equally shadow Washington where the Obama administration appears in denial over the depth of this crisis.
Although I write on general trends and try not to predict the future, one has to admit that we have never had a period when data is all over the place and the future is truly murky. Just over 150 years ago, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln said, "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew."
Shortly after announcing it had canceled United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's planned visit to the country this week, North Korea declared it had the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons, which is a step toward building nuclear missiles.
The symbolic gesture of Chinese leader Xi Jinping meeting Narendra Modi in Xian, making the Indian prime minister the first world leader to be hosted outside Beijing, underlined the tenacity of historical links between the two peoples. These links embody the Silk Road that connected China and India through trade, scholarship and cultural affinity in an era of soft borders, long before the advent of nation-states and their jealousies and rivalries.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Brazil may have received a US$53 billion investment boost from China but the South American giant would be unwise to view investment from the Asian superpower as a panacea to its economic woes, analysts said.