President Barack Obama and Governor Jerry Brown have both been pushing the envelope of efforts to bring climate change under control and running up against major ingrown opposition to their efforts.
China's reformist leader Deng Xiaoping famously counseled that his nation should "hide its strength and bide its time" as it grew to the top ranks of the global economy. President Xi Jinping has taken a different course. He is seizing the moment and baring China's teeth. Not unlike Ronald Reagan who declared in the 1980s that "America is back -- standing tall," Xi is signaling that the Middle Kingdom has returned and finally straightened its spine after being bent over by national humiliation going back to the Opium War, Western colonialism and Japanese occupation. Xi's stance was on display for all the world to see in the vast military spectacle on Tiananmen Square this week marking the 70th anniversary of the Allied defeat of Japan in World War II. That President Xi appeared alongside Vladimir Putin -- with no prominent Western leaders from the U.S., Europe or Japan in attendance -- was not only reminiscent of the Cold War, but a worrying premonition that the world once again risks dividing up into geopolitical blocs. (continued)
There were only a few things wrong with the massive parade today in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day. The folks doing the celebrating only tangentially represent the Chinese who most actively resisted the Japanese invaders. And the celebration itself, meant to signify China's emerging superpower status, fell a little flat.
As O'Malley smells the coffee, he needs to make a deal. Not with the DNC, but with Bernie Sanders, and Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb, and Joe Biden; to rent out some space, issue some press credentials.
The undertow of China's slackening economy and the mounting tide of refugees pushing through border after border in Europe put the world on edge this week. After spiraling down, volatile stock markets rallied back, for now. . . Writing from Beijing, Fred Hu argues that what we are witnessing is China's shift toward the "new normal" of a slower growth paradigm focused on domestic consumption instead of investment and export-led growth. He expresses confidence that his country will weather the storm, writing, "it is a loser's game to bet against China's leaders." Nobel laureate Michael Spence locates the culprit of market volatility in the flood of funds unleashed by low interest rates looking for higher returns, which has led to the gap between a financial bubble and the real economy now undergoing a correction. (continued)
In the dog days of late summer in the northern hemisphere, the fate of the deal that would curb Iran's capacity to produce nuclear weapons twists in the wind. The ongoing uncertainty has revealed just how hard it is for U.S. President Barack Obama to establish his authority over the U.S. Congress and America's allies. The robust public debate over the controversial deal in Iran also reveals it is a much more open society than its Arab counterparts in the region. Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former head of the foreign relations committee of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, envisions a new era of relations between Iran and America and calls on the U.S. Congress not to make an "historic blunder" by rejecting the deal. Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo argues that "the habits of hope in Iranian culture" are behind the public embrace of the agreement. (continued)
The challenge for the European Union and its member states, particularly Germany, is in balancing the often incongruous demands of co-operation and self-interest, and thus demonstrate to their own citizens that concrete achievements can still create a Europe of solidarity and prosperity as Schuman envisaged.
Putin's support for Kadyrov should be conditional. However, Russia's reliance on the Chechen leader to provide security in the North Caucasus and to restrict ISIS's growth in that region makes it very difficult for Putin to change his Chechnya policy.
Donald Trump keeps on saying stupid, hateful things. About Mexicans, women, John McCain, Megyn Kelly... And he keeps on leading the Republican presidential race. Gosh, could there be a correlation?
While the impact of western sanctions on Russia has been well documented, little mention has been made of the effects of the Russian embargo on western agricultural products.
On August 3, the Anglo-American poet and historian Robert Conquest died in California at 98. According to The Daily Telegraph in London, Conquest's father Roger was an American from Virginia, while his mother Rosamund was English, and Robert was born in the West Midlands of England.
While many countries in what used to be called the Third World remain stuck in the same poverty and ethnic strife that characterized them in the immediate post-colonial era, Singapore stands out for its rapid rise to prosperity and peaceful embrace of diversity. From the day it became independent on August 9, 1965 to 2014, Singapore's GDP per capita has soared an astonishing 3700 percent. Above all, Singapore's lesson for the world is that governance matters. (continued)
Are you skeptical that Moscow's crass propaganda efforts could really impact hearts and minds in Europe? Unfortunately, they not only have an impact there; those information operations are making inroads right here in the United States thanks to a senior Democratic congressman and pliable media.
The Syrian quagmire, in which both the Islamic State and the Kurds have been fighting for territory, has now sucked in Turkey. Last week's ISIS attack on Turkish soil, Kurdish gains along the Syrian border and the surprise advance of the secular and liberal pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party in recent elections -- which clipped the parliamentary majority of President Erdoğan's neo-Islamist ruling party -- have conjoined into an explosive state of affairs. To boot, NATO, which is obliged to defend a member state under siege, has now been drawn into a three-way fray in which Turkey is lashing out at both the Kurdish resistance and ISIS. Writing from Istanbul, Behlül Özkan ominously foresees "Armageddon" descending on the region. Mustafa Akyol, also writing from the shores of the Bosphorus, argues that Erdoğan's assault on the Kurds in tandem with ISIS is aimed at bolstering his nationalist credentials at home in order to block the HDP, which stands in the way of his autocratic vision. (continued)
The headlines on the talks between Brussels and Athens on the 86 billion euro bailout of Greece seem to indicate nothing but problems. It appears that even before talks can begin, Greece is being asked to enact further laws.
Blocking accountability and seeking to blame others for its crimes, even when premeditated is a KGB tactic, but only marginally successful. Putin should have learned the lesson that the truth is bound to come through.