Thursday, February 4, 2016
The Taliban suicide bombing against a bus carrying employees of Afghanistan's biggest media company last month has shocked local journalists, who fear they are now in the cross hairs of an increasingly lethal insurgency.
The Israeli government's decision to allow non-Orthodox Jewish prayer at Jerusalem's Western Wall is a major breakthrough for the country's long-marginalized liberal streams and their powerful supporters in the United States.
Germany is mulling taking away benefits from asylum seekers if they refuse to try to learn the language and integrate; Denmark has just approved a measure to let police seize valuables from migrants to help cover their housing and food costs; and an Austrian province this week is expected to more than halve payments to many refugees.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
China, long accused by the United States of being a free rider by not contributing to the resolution of global issues, has taken a big step into the Middle East, with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, strengthening the country's relations with the crisis-stricken region, but at the same time making it clear that it has its own strategic priorities.
With the incumbent Korean National Assembly embroiled in unending bipartisan and factional feuds, while still failing to draw out an electorate map with just three months left to the elections, it seems less-than-political people, and even controversial figures, believe they can do a better job.
"The Cowshed: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution" (New York Review Books), by Ji Xianlin.
European Central Bank head Mario Draghi has warned that the "downside risks" facing Europe's economy have increased due to the recent turmoil in emerging markets.
Five months ago, a 3-year-old Syrian boy's corpse on a Turkish beach galvanized public action for refugees. Now, strikingly similar images are generating little more than a collective shrug.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
In a flurry of wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Sundance Film Festival, diversity made a comeback.
In 1990, when the democratic movement gained strong momentum and Nepal finally entered a painfully long spell of transition from a monarchy to a fledgling democracy, it had the advantage of having at the helm some of the surviving leaders from the first generation of freedom fighters.