While formality is definitely the order of the day, showing up in a tuxedo or a ball gown isn't worth the inconvenience of traveling with a set of clothes you're not going to be wearing repeatedly.
The thawing -- or re-humanizing -- of Ahmedu as we got to know each other was a testament to the power of the human spirit. Yet, to too many in the West a young man like Ahmedu represents an Islamic threat in which Muslims are hell-bent on re-conquering parts of Europe to impose an Islamic caliphate. As for the argument that immigrants simply mean more recruits for terrorists, not once did Ahmedu mention words like sharia or jihad. But for the right-wing movements growing exponentially across Europe, this would not matter.
Led by Alexis Tsipras, head of Greece's newly-elected, left-wing coalition, some other leading political lights in Europe - Messrs. Hollande and Valls in France and Renzi in Italy - are raising a big stink about fiscal austerity. Yet they always fail to define austerity. Never mind. They don't like it.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has already lasted for well over a century. If no Palestinian state is established, it will probably go on for another 100 years. Preventing this was the logic behind the Swedish government's decision to recognize Palestine. The rest of Europe should follow.
Reading and watching news of Syriza party's attempts to renegotiate a bailout agreement with the EU and ease austerity in what they term a humanitarian crisis for the Greek people, I've traded doubt and discomfort for a new feeling: respect.
In John McPhee's sharp and heedful book, The Control of Nature, he chronicles attempts by Man to wrestle down disruptive Nature.
Every year, some of Hollywood's biggest stars get snubbed during the film awards season. This year is no exception. Many believe Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Angelina Jolie and others were "robbed" of Academy Awards.
The EPA administrator this week suggested that interim goals for existing power plants to comply with the agency's proposed Clean Power Plan could be softened before the rule is finalized this summer.
UN-mandated Peacekeepers have several negative implications for the Ukraine government, as well as the positive of securing at least a temporary halt to the fighting. On the negative side, the conflict becomes frozen in place with Ukraine effectively divided and potentially partitioned.
If Greece leaves Europe, the EU dream will be gone for good. Second, other European countries like Portugal, Spain and Ireland, also under the humiliations of debt, might imitate Greece and exit the EU. It's in the political interests of the U.S. to intervene decisively and prevent the break up of the Western world.
The new era of Greece in the European Union will have to bring equality, stability and fairness in its relationship with its partners. The country has spent far too much capital to remain inside the Eurozone and owes it to itself, and its citizens, to conclude a program that will provide an appropriate balance of budgetary stability and development.
In another of his pleasant encounters with world leaders, Russian president Vladimir Putin went to Egypt on February 8, staying until February 10.
Poles are happier than they've been in years. More than 80 percent report that they are "very happy" or "quite happy," and that number has risen steadily since 2000. But happiness in Poland seems to derive largely from private life. There's not a lot of volunteering, and even the rates of Church attendance have been going down.
Compared to the antics of Washington, Europe seemed like a preserve of peace and collegiality. But, as 2014 demonstrates, times have changed. EU politics have heated up as the Union meets challenges at every edge.
Sometimes I don't feel comfortable anymore in my own country. Sometimes, other people give me the feeling that I don't belong here.
This lemon just can't be squeezed any harder--no matter how badly Germany and the rest of euro zone wants the money they perhaps shouldn't have "loaned" to Greece in the first place...