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A Sept. 25 story by Politico titled "Iran Deal: The Inside Account" revealed the path culminating in the reaching of this year's nuclear agreement between Iran and the U.S. Despite being blasted by hard-liners in both countries as having sacrificed too much, the pact has cleared a final legislative hurdle in the U.S. and is set to be officially inaugurated in October.
Some say that a fault confessed is half redressed, meaning that when you know that you have done something wrong, you should be ready to admit it and be prepared to correct it. That is perhaps the strategy VW chief Martin Winterkorn adopted in his recent video posted on the Volkswagen website during which he apologized for the international uproar caused by the emissions-cheating scandal, yet refused to resign.
In July, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others presented an open letter at the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence warning against the use of A.I. for military purposes. To most of us, the dire future they were painting -- "feasible within years, not decades," as they cautioned in the letter -- is similar to the one depicted in the "Terminator" sci-fi movie series that featured autonomous killing machines.
In politics progress can often seem to be slow, mind-bogglingly convoluted, unclear and unsexy. Decisions are made through bloodless calculations, bureaucratic twists and turns and flip-flopping. Results come with compromises, half measures, secret deals and sometimes blatant lies.
Before Aylan Kurdi drowned when a boat carrying him and other Syrian refugees capsized early this month, over 1,000 refugees had died en route to Europe. Some drowned, some starved to death, some suffocated being piled up in tightly packed compartments, some were simply abandoned in the middle of the Sahara by human traffickers.
The mass exodus of refugees escaping from war-torn areas in Syria and other countries in the region had largely been mentioned in passing by Taiwan's local media, with the occasional piece in the international pages about sunken rafts and refugees packed into boats like sardines as they headed toward Southern European countries.
The "Black Monday" of China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index has sent shockwaves throughout global markets. But the plunge of over 30 percent of share prices in two months at China's main exchange is the least of Beijing's problems.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's speech last Friday was keenly awaited for an apology. East Asian countries were critical, but for Japan locally, his enunciation was well-received, with Pew polls indicating his approval ratings rose by 5 percent to 44 percent.
Following the United States Supreme Court's historic stamp of approval for gay marriage, making it constitutionally legal across the United States last month, Facebook rolled out a fun little feature that applies a rainbow-colored filter to Facebook profile pictures in celebration of same-sex rights. In Taiwan, users of the popular social media platform could see theirs friends using the new colorful profile photos.
Japan's Kyodo News reported last week that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will deliver his speech on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War not on Aug. 15, but one day earlier, and won't apologize for past Japanese colonization and aggression. The Japanese Empire started the Pacific War, which was officially declared as the Great East Asian War, though after the war it was popularly called the Second World War.
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