Hong Kong has always been a city of contrasts. Wealth, a free economy, a feisty media and rule of law have always contrasted with poverty, crowding and claustrophobia.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the Korean Peninsula remains stifled by a wall of division," stated South Korean President Park Geun-hye. In a landmark address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Park made the bold assertion, "I call on the international community to stand with us in tearing down the world's last remaining wall of division."
The specter and shadow of international terrorism tragically clouds the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session, yet again. The growing menace from ISIS/ISIL jihadi terrorists threatening the sovereignty of Iraq and Syria goes beyond the Middle East and now extends to possible terror strikes in Western Europe and the United States.
Presidents, prime ministers, kings and potentates are gathering in New York for the 69th General Assembly of the U.N. But as diplomats come together for the annual general debate which begins on Sept. 24, there' s a cloud of political and social unease greeting delegations from the 193 member states; issues ranging from regional wars, to humanitarian crises, nuclear proliferation, the spread of infections disease, and the scimitar of ISIS terrorism.
Speaking in the somber shadow of the September 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America in 2001, U.S. President Barack Obama sought to stake out an ambitious military and political strategy to degrade and defeat the new surge of Middle Eastern terrorism now sweeping Iraq and Syria.
In what can only be described as a plague on both your houses, an U.N. investigative panel has issued a specific and sickening verdict on the ongoing violence in Syria's civil war.
The countdown started in Sarajevo in June 1914, the conflagration followed in August. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serb nationalist set in motion a series of events in which the great European powers marched, with near lockstep, into a war that would devour seventeen million people, devastate nations and dismantle empires.
Far from the sputtering conflict, the war of words, and the diplomatic jousting between Russia and the West over the future sovereignty of Ukraine, there's a lucrative business deal unfolding in the French Atlantic port of St. Nazaire. There amid the construction cranes and buzzing machine shops of one of France's largest naval shipbuilders, two new steel grey ships are taking form; both being amphibious assault ships for the Russian navy.
The headlines seem from another era; that of Christian persecution by militant Islam in the Middle East. Yet the modern political responses to this age-old conflict appear as ambivalent to what has emerged as an organized attempt by the militant State of Islam to impose a caliphate both on Christians as well as more secular Muslims.
Truth is often stranger than fiction. The horrific event over eastern Ukraine, that of a civilian airliner being shot out of the skies by a high altitude Sam 11 missile, seems almost the improbable grist of a thriller novel or a pilot episode of the TV series 24 .