Trouble is brewing between the U.S. and China over the aptly named Mischief Reef and other islets in the South China Sea, which China claims. The contretemps over these tiny shoals is an early proxy battle for the grand contest of the 21st century between the rising power of China and the established American world order. Writing this week from Beijing, Yanmei Xie argues that the U.S. should be defending a global commons in the South China Sea, not naval supremacy. Shen Dingli writes from Shanghai that China has every right to "build sovereignty" there. Harvard professor and former chair of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, Joe Nye, says the U.S. should stick to its long-standing policy of not getting involved in territorial disputes in Asia. (continued)
An imposed peace can only happen if ISIS is stopped, and only a joint coalition that includes the West and Russia would be able to achieve that end.
In one of the stranger developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko recently appointed former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as the governor of the Odessa region.
Luke Harding is an award-winning foreign correspondent from the Guardian, with extensive experience in conflict zones such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Georgia and Ukraine.
If communism is "The God That Failed," liberation theology is the gospel that has succeeded. Marx may be dead, but the cause of the poor and oppressed has been resurrected. This is the message the Argentine pope, Francis, sent by canonizing Oscar Romero, reversing decades of conservative opposition in the church hierarchy and setting the El Salvadoran archbishop on the road to sainthood. Romero was gunned down at the altar in 1980 by a right-wing death squad that regarded him as a dangerous Marxist because of his activism on behalf of the poor. As Paul Vallely writes, Romero is an exemplar for Francis. Both are "orthodox and yet utterly radical." Romero is "a priest whose life stands in testament to the kind of Catholicism preferred by a pope who declared within days of his election that he wanted 'a poor Church for the poor.'" (continued)
In a series of peculiar events that can only be contextually placed in the reality of the 21st century, football, war, and diplomacy meet and intertwine. Today, Russia and the U.S take one more step in their very own modern adaptation of the Cold War in the curious battlefield of international soccer.
In the bad old days of the Cold War, the left and the right used to play a nasty game called "Who's Your Favorite Dictator?" But the terms of the game have changed.
David Satter is a journalist who was a Financial Times correspondent in Moscow from 1976 to 1982; and subsequently was a Soviet affairs specialist for the Wall Street Journal.
Imagine an alternative universe in which the two major Cold War superpowers evolved into the United Soviet Socialist States. The conjoined entity, linked perhaps by a new Bering Straits land bridge, combines the optimal features of capitalism and collectivism.
The seizure of Palmyra this week by ISIS could not be more emblematic of the new dark age descending on the Mideast. In the name of decontaminating Islam, the Wahhabi offshoot has pledged to demolish even the ruins of this ancient crossroads of the Roman Empire, India, China and Persia that represents the historical diversity of intermingling cultures. It is yet another sobering lesson in how the accomplishments of civilization can be rolled back by the mad pursuit of pure states of being - whether of ideal pasts, utopian futures, races or religions. As WorldPost correspondent Sophia Jones reports, Palmyra is also darkly remembered by many Syrians for its more recent history as a "death camp" of "torture and fear" in the 1980s and 1990s under Hafez al- Assad.
As we remember those who gave their all to ensure our freedoms and liberties, let us also guard against clever appropriations of the memory of blood and sacrifice for political ends.
Whatever the situation, there is only one right way to handle it: Be yourself! This principle applies everywhere and in all circumstances. It does not matter what sort of person you are -- strong and true or despicable and cowardly -- show your real nature and people will begin to speak to you in your own language.
Facebook has become the world's publishing Leviathan with 1.4 billion users - a cyberpopulation the size of China. Never before have so many of like mind and sympathetic bent been able to connect with each other. Yet, by slotting what is shared through algorithm and personalization into silos of the similar, few boundaries beyond the familiar are being crossed. As identities fortify into tribes through this increasingly dominant medium, one wonders if the information age is becoming the age of non-communication. On this point, "technosociologist" Zeynep Tufekci contests a study recently released by Facebook that claims it is not creating echo chambers. Timothy Karr also worries that Mark Zuckerberg's plan to provide cyber access to the world's poor through Internet.org will "represent the entirety of the Internet for a significant proportion of the world's population."
America has tried, and continues to try, to push President Putin and Russia out of a competitive role in world politics. But Russian counter moves can move America out of its position of world leader.
When the instruments of death fly above us, we still look up in admiration, not horror. As long as we celebrate destruction in this way, we will be doomed to repeat it.
What is hunger? What is captivity? What is prison? What is hunger in prison? How should one behave in captivity? In a court investigation? In prison? Because these are very different things.