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Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Less than a week after the victory of its hard-left ally Syriza in Greece, Spain's Podemos party launched an election-heavy year by assembling more than 100,000 supporters for a rally in Madrid.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Lord George Macartney came to China as King George's envoy to be received in audience by Emperor Qianlong at Rehe or Jehol in 1793. The British lord had to follow the Chinese court protocol and presented gifts to the Son of Heaven. Among the gifts were precious clocks. Qianlong, of course, didn't bother to have a look at the gifts. The British diplomatic mission was a disastrous failure.
South African youths recently swept through an intersection in the heart of Soweto township, breaking into immigrant-owned shops and grabbing whatever they could — soda, a loaf of bread, sometimes even the shelves. Nearly 40 years ago, at the same intersection, young blacks marched to protest the white racist rulers of the time, drawing a bloody crackdown that shocked the world.
When the Italian presidency was vacated by long-serving Giorgio Napolitano on Jan. 14, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed to deliver a smooth and undramatic succession process, in a break from previous practice.
Whatever happened to that reset button Hillary Clinton gave her Russian counterpart in 2009 as a sign of renewed ties? No doubt gathering dust, while the West figures out how to handle Moscow now.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je's booboos this week in remarks about the gift of a pocket watch from the United Kingdom's Minister of State for Transport will hang in the clouds for a spell of time not yet determined.
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There's a good reason the U.S. economy is impressing the world right now despite a slowdown in the final three months of 2014: In a word, steadiness.
“The Greek Way” no longer has quite such splendid implications for many. This is the title of a best-selling book on ancient Greece by German-American author Edith Hamilton, published in 1930 and reprinted regularly since. She was one of the most visible public advocates of the classics of the twentieth century, and her influence continues.
The latest Islamic State hostage drama involving a veteran Japanese war correspondent and a young Jordanian pilot marks the first time the group has publicly demanded prisoner releases. It also signals a change in the extremist group's propaganda technique.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
The period between Christmas and Chinese New Year is a period of grave reflection. In East Asia, the holiday season coincides with travel and family time, when we question friends and relatives about what to expect in the coming year. You know the year will be good if after Chinese New Year, either the stock market or the real estate market signals up. If they signal down, look for a weak year for the economy.
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