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Weekend Roundup: Goodbye Post-War Era; Hello Pre-War Era?

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.11.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, the old world order continued to crumble before our eyes. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Beijing, once again telling the Chinese to cool it in the South and East China Seas and "abide by maritime law." The Chinese told him to mind his own business. Yet another spy scandal erupted between two of the closest post-World War II allies, Germany and the United States. Every day, tension increases between Ukraine and Russia. The powder keg of the Middle East exploded anew. As the Syrian tragedy continued unabated and the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate advanced further in Iraq, Hamas and Israel are yet again locked in a deadly battle. A new refugee crisis has arisen -- this time not in far off Africa or Syria -- but at the U.S. border, where tens of thousands of children from Central America's failed states are arriving en masse. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: A Democratic Alliance to Contain China?

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.03.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, the unsettling of stability in Asia took yet another turn. Just as Chinese President Xi Jinping was due to arrive in South Korea -- which is angry at Japan over denials about World War II "comfort women" -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a changed interpretation of the constitution that allows Japanese military forces to operate abroad. As Shannon Tiezzi writes, China's approach is now aimed at exploiting differences within Japanese public opinion over Abe's new nationalism. From Australia, John Garnaut writes that an old idea of Colin Powell's is being raised anew: an alliance of democratic states in Asia to counter China's new influence. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: America's Cult of Ignorance Is Its Biggest National Security Threat

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.27.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

Though the flames of fanaticism further engulfed the Middle East this week, WorldPost readers overwhelmingly focused on what John Traphagan argues is a far deeper national security issue: the "cult of ignorance" undermining America's prospects. On the Middle East, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon writes what everyone now fears: the Syrian civil war is becoming a global threat. Azadeh Moaveni explains the differences behind the Sunnis and Shiites driving the conflict across the whole region. On the ground in Iraq, Mushreq Abbas argues that the real danger represented by ISIS is its ability to attract sympathy from Sunnis and that a political solution is needed. American military intervention, Abbas argues, would render the U.S. ISIS' first enemy. WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones writes from the frontlines that Iraq's Christians are standing steadfast in their faith while the brutal ISIS advances. As the darkness deepens in the Arab world, our regular photo essay feature, "The Other Hundred," this week offers a paradoxical ray of light: the remarkable story of Cairo's blind orchestra. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: The Implosion of Iraq

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.20.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

More than a decade after America's "shock and awe" invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, liberated Iraq is violently imploding into what Paul Salem calls "Syriaq," ruled by Sunni fanatics, the Kurds in the north and the Shiite zone linked to Iran -- the now dominant power in the region that is closer to having weapons of mass destruction than Saddam ever was. Ayub Nuri argues it is time at last for Iraq to split up. Dominique de Villepin, a former French prime minister most famous for opposing the U.S. invasion at the United Nations, writes that the world is descending into a violent "clash of identities" that only building cultural bridges, not dropping more bombs, can ultimately cure. Graham Fuller, a former vice chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, argues that America has reached the limits of its power and must let the Iraqis and others in the region find their own solutions. Jordanian analyst Rami Khouri writes from Beirut that Iraq's implosion exposes the failure of the Shia government in Baghdad to accommodate local Sunni fears and concerns. WorldPost correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Erbil, Iraq that, in an about-face, Turkey is ready to accept Kurdish self-determination. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: Tesla's Open Source Patents vs. Close-Minded Jihadi Wars

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.13.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

Two signal events are contesting to shape our future this week. Like a bad dream, the Iraq jihadis and the Taliban returned again with their bloody battles fueled by oil interests and close-minded religious and tribal fanaticism. With his utopian vision, Tesla's Elon Musk pledged to open source his precious patents, as the WorldPost reports, in order to spur the great break from fossil to renewable fuels. First came the Taliban attacks on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. As rumors of a military coup sweep the country, Pakistani journalist Saeed Qureshi writes that, if political leaders don't act decisively, the military should move "on its own volition" to suppress the Taliban "once and for all." Writing about the cancellation of a flight from Colombo to Karachi, Akbar S. Ahmed ponders if Sri Lanka's experience with the Tamil rebels holds any lessons for Pakistan. Then, suddenly, Iraq burst into turmoil. As the fanatical Islamic State in Iraq and Syria advances on Baghdad, Hillary Clinton warns that the situation is getting "wickeder." As the WorldPost reports, she fears the establishment of a new pan-Islamic proto-state across Sunni swaths of Syria and Iraq. Juan Cole, doyen of scholars on Islamists in the region, puts the fall of Mosul in historical context going back to when the British Empire drew all the maps.(continued)

Weekend Roundup: The New China Faces the 'New Japanese'

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.06.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

A furious war of words was unleashed at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore last weekend. The U.S. and Japan accused China of trying to change the status quo by coercion and intimidation; the Chinese accused Japan and the U.S. of inciting instability with its "20th century mentality" of war and conflict. Following up on his comments in Singapore, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe writes in The WorldPost that China ought to abide by the rule of law in the seas of Asia and calls for negotiations. Recalling the experience of World War II, Shanghai scholar/entrepreneur Eric X. Li mocks Abe's pledge in Singapore that the "new Japanese" will help their neighbors resist Beijing. The great danger now, writes the Australian scholar Hugh White , is that the ground is being laid for a catastrophic clash since both sides in this conflict assume incorrectly that the other will back down. South Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se fears a "Pandora's box" is being opened in Asia. Marking the 25 years since the Tiananmen massacre, China scholar Perry Link worries that Xi Jinping is becoming "a Mao-like strongman."(continued)

Weekend Roundup: Watch for the New Breakthrough In 'Amplified Intelligence'

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.30.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, The WorldPost features a conversation with bio-tech pioneer and entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong on the "great convergence" he is forging in medical care by bringing together supercomputing, cloud computing and machine vision to create "amplified intelligence." Dr. Soon-Shiong is a WorldPost contributing editor for Medicine and Technology. (continued)

Weekend Roundup: The World Pivots to Asia

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.23.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, watershed historical events have taken place in Asia. Narendra Modi and his modernizing Hindu nationalist party have swept to power in India. Scorned by the West over Crimea, Vladimir Putin has hastened to deepen Russia's energy and political ties with China. China seems to be creating as many enemies as friends with its new, boldly assertive posture. Appearing at a summit of non-Western nations in Asia after cementing the giant gas deal with Russia's Putin, President Xi appealed to his neighbors to keep the U.S. out of the region and leave Asia to Asians. Yet, this came on the heels of anti-China riots in Vietnam after China placed an oil rig in disputed waters. And it came just as the U.S. government indicted individual members of a People's Liberation Army cyber-espionage team for hacking into commercial secrets of American companies.

Weekend Roundup: China vs. America --True Rivalry Between False Friends?

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.16.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

It has been another rocky week in East Asia. After China anchored a huge oil rig in what Vietnam considers its territorial waters, Vietnamese protesters rioted against foreign factories and what they thought were Chinese interests in their country. China warned the U.S. to remain "objective" in the conflict. And the U.S. warned back that China should watch its step. In The WorldPost, we published an interview with leading Chinese strategist Yan Xuetong who worries openly that U.S.-China relations could turn into a "true rivalry between false friends." China's top expert on the U.S., Wang Jisi, points out that China benefits from the stability the U.S. military keeps in the East Asian region while the U.S. benefits from the stability the Communist Party maintains within China. Die Zeit editor Josef Joffe laments America's withdrawal from the world, but expects it will bounce back.

Weekend Roundup: Clash of Cultures at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.09.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

The clash of cultures, never far below the surface, erupted once again this week in different ways in different places around the world. In The WorldPost pop star Elton John writes that he will join other Hollywood celebrities in boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel. The hotel is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, a country where anti-gay Sharia law is being implemented. Looking from the other side, we also published an account from India on how Muslim women are using Sharia courts there to promote gender equality. In a sequel to his earlier contribution, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls for the U.S. and U.K. to send satellite and surveillance aid to Nigeria to help find and free the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. On the flip side, Jumoke Balogun, Co-Founder of CompareAfrique.com, argues that American intervention in Nigeria -- militarily or in the form of the supportive #BringBackOurGirls hashtag -- will "ultimately hurt the people of Nigeria." (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 07.02.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, turmoil and uncertainty continued to grip the globe. As pro-Russian separatists seized town halls in eastern Ukraine, U.S. President Barack Obama completed his "pivot" tour of East Asia aimed at shoring up American allies in the region in the face of China's rise. Even as the Chinese demurred at the designation, the World Bank announced that in 2014 China would surpass the U.S. as the world's largest economy -- a position the U.S. has held since 1872. (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.25.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

As U.S. President Barack Obama pivoted to Asia this week, The WorldPost published contributions by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on how Japan is no longer in the "Far East," but at the "center of the Pacific Rim." South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se offers a dire perspective on rising nationalist conflict in the region as "history returns with a vengeance to Northeast Asia." Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, speaking of Crimea as well as the East China Sea, wonders if "2014 will end up like 1914" when globalization collapsed into conflict and war. The Diplomat's Shannon Tiezzi notes that while Western thinkers are comparing this moment to 1914, Chinese strategists are looking back to China's defeat in the "first" Sino-Japanese war in 1895. (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.18.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, The WorldPost streamed live Chelsea and Hillary Clinton's virtual dialogue, "Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation," about how young people can prepare to meet life's challenges. In our One-On-One series, historian Niall Ferguson discusses the degeneration of America's institutions. In a HuffPost Live interview, economist Thomas Piketty talks about his new book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" and growing inequality. Novelist and Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer describes her disillusion with post-Mandela South Africa. Actor and activist Robert Redford appeals to President Obama to keep oil drilling out of the Arctic. Sergio Munoz Bata remembers his long-time friend and colleague, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.11.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

This week, The WorldPost completed its three-part conversation between Chinese scholar Wang Hui and former German chancellor and elder statesman Helmut Schmidt, focusing in this final exchange on why China's civilization has lasted for at least 3,000 years.

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 06.04.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

In The WorldPost this week, Pussy Riot members Nadia Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina call on the West to "sanction oligarchs but give ordinary Russians visas." We report also on the curious case of the new pro-Russian Prosecutor General in Crimea, Natalya Poklonskaya, who has become an anime cult figure in Japan. (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.28.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

2014-02-15-weekendroundup2.jpg This week, yet again, the Ukraine crisis continued to dominate the news. Russia consolidated its hold on Crimea while the U.S., Europe and Japan -- the revived G-7 -- sought to isolate Vladimir Putin with sanctions even as the emerging economies of China, India, Brazil and South Africa pointedly said they would not go along with any such moves in the G-20 (continued).

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.21.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

2014-02-15-weekendroundup2.jpg As Russia completed its takeover of Crimea, The WorldPost brought key voices to bear on the immediate crisis in the region as well as on the broader strategic implications. In an exclusive interview with The WorldPost, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned that the retreat of American leadership in the world was leaving a vacuum being filled by aggressive nationalists and terrorists. Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former prime minister and power behind the scenes of the new government in Kiev, passionately defended the unity of Ukraine. Solidarity founder Adam Michnik, writing from Warsaw, worried about the consequences of Putin's "extortion" for the post-Cold War Eastern European states. Mohamed El-Erian predicted that the economic realities of interdependence between Russia and Europe will ultimately de-escalate the crisis. Lord David Owen, a former British foreign minister, argued from his past diplomatic experience with territorial disputes that sanctions never work. (continued)

Bianca Bosker

Teens Are Going Wild For The 'Selfie Stick'

HuffingtonPost.com | Bianca Bosker | Posted 03.17.2014 | Technology

SINGAPORE -- The selfie trend is already big. But Asian teens have found a way to make the actual pictures even bigger. “It’s called a selfie s...

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.14.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

2014-02-15-weekendroundup2.jpg The WorldPost opened the week with a blog post on the widening split between Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan and the country's more liberal president, Abdullah Gul. After Erdogan proclaimed he would not let Turkey "be devoured by YouTube and Facebook" and threatened a further crackdown on internet freedoms, Gul responded that "there will be no stepping back from freedoms" in Turkey.

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 05.07.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

2014-02-15-weekendroundup2.jpg This week as the Ukraine crisis flared further and the West was divided over sanctions against Russia, The WorldPost turned to America's leading strategic thinkers to comment. Henry Kissinger writes that Ukraine must not belong to either Russia or the West, but fulfill its historic role as a bridge. Zbigniew Brzezinski calls on the West to formally recognize the new government in Kiev and ready NATO troops in Central Europe in the event of war. (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.30.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

2014-02-15-weekendroundup2.jpg This week, The WorldPost focused on media issues. Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and president of First Look Media, calls social media one of the great leaps of human civilization, connecting people across cultural differences as never before and enabling networks of individuals to challenge power. British philosopher Alain de Botton argues that the minute by minute avalanche of news fragments need to be put into context in order to be meaningful and, when done properly, can actually prove interesting to the reader. (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.24.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

2014-02-15-weekendroundup2.jpg As the dramatic events unfolded over the past week in Ukraine, The WorldPost published a passionate speech given by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy to protesters in Kiev's Independence Square. At a time when citizens from Spain to Italy to Germany are doubting the very project of European unity, Levy told the crowd: "You have a dream that unites you. Your dream is Europe. Not the Europe of accountants, but the Europe of values. Not the Europe of bureaucrats, but that of the spirit." (continued)

Weekend Roundup

Nathan Gardels | Posted 04.02.2014 | World
Nathan Gardels

2014-02-01-worldpostlaunchimagewholegroup3131.jpg The WorldPost got off to a running start with our launch high in the Alps last week in Davos, Switzerland. Our content in these early days has been true to our aspiration to create a site where the whole world can meet -- connecting the dots and connecting the world -- not looking out with a national perspective, but looking around with a global view.

Michael Spence: When Economies Go Through Big Changes, There Are 'A Lot Of Bumps In The Road'

The Huffington Post | Posted 01.24.2014 | Business

Michael Spence of the Berggruen Institute joined HuffPost Live at Davos on Friday to talk about the "unpredictable" nature of countries going through ...

At Davos, A Forum For Global Conversation Is Born

The Huffington Post | Joe Satran | Posted 01.23.2014 | World

On Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland, Arianna Huffington and Nicolas Berggruen invited some of the world’s most prominent academics, journalists and b...