Sunday, October 11, 2015
Once again in Afghanistan, the Taliban has captured headlines through a spectacular and startling military attack. On Sept. 28, the extremist Islamic movement overran the major city of Kunduz. Afghan government forces were quick to counterattack. Reliable sources report the Afghan military retook the city center Oct. 5, but fighting continues. The inadvertent U.S. attack on a hospital adds further complication.
Without a doubt, certain choices we make about the words we use really do make a difference. Language is important. Language matters.
The U.S. Republican Party is in chaos, desperately in search of a leader. In the unruly U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans enjoy a near-historic majority, yet deep divisions between ultra-conservatives and more traditional Republican lawmakers have left them at a loss over who should be in charge.
Amid relentless diplomatic efforts, many seem unaware that the South China Sea dispute has entered a new phase as the Philippines, one of the claimants of the maritime territory, is seeking a legal settlement of mainland China's territorial claims at the Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Tobacco in cigarettes leaves an odor that originates from smoke particles so minuscule that they easily saturate living spaces and persist long after their source has gone.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
The almost biblical scenes of mass humanity surging through Europe from the Balkans to the Baltic have created jarring images as we see a mass movement of displaced Syrians and Iraqis flooding into what they see as a Promised Land, the European Union. Thus as civil conflicts rage between secular regimes and Islamic radicals, destroying ancient lands with contemporary barbarism, the human "collateral damage" is measured in both the dead and the displaced.
Whether fluttering over the ruins of a captured city in Iraq or Syria, or in the background of gruesome execution videos, the black flag used by the Islamic State group has become an instantly recognizable symbol of modern global jihad.
President Dilma Rousseff claims to detect a glimmer at the end of the tunnel in Brazil's political crisis, but what she really may be seeing, analysts say, are the headlights of an oncoming train.
The consequences of the murders of two foreign nationals in Bangladesh are surfacing in different forms. A common thread of concern weaves through the manifestations. Though unpleasant, they are not surprising.
Friday, October 9, 2015
An ambitious Pacific Rim trade deal anchored by the U.S. promises to boost the economies of its 12 participating countries by opening their markets to one another, but not all the gains will be spread evenly.