For anyone who can still see straight, it is obvious that Venezuela won't be able to keep on subsidizing the Castro regime with 100,000 daily oil barrels. Moreover, each day it becomes likelier that there will soon be a major political overhaul in Venezuela, one that, in one way or the other, will spell an end to the island's economic salvation.
In the life of any country, a situation can arise that requires a clear choice between positive change or stagnation and decline. At such times, only the collective will of the people can generate sufficient will to begin the process of change. And yes, sometimes the awakening of national consciousness begins with struggling over a mountain of dirty and snowy slush on the side of the road.
Given that the price of oil is likely to remain low, Asian financiers -- even the Chinese -- do not seem eager to refinance Russian companies, and sanctions are unlikely to be lifted.
When there is conflict in unstable nations, the tide comes in with the strength of a tsunami to drown out the precious advances that women have made in those countries.
We have all lost in this fight. There are no winners, and with the announcement, pained feelings we have carried for five decades come to the surface.
Islam, my Islam, the Islam of 1.6 billion followers condemns the killing of children. It is a religion of peace, tolerance and mercy. So when extremists kill in the name of Islam, they distort our sacred religion and they hijack the identity of the moderate majority. Islam did not kill children yesterday. Evil, depraved monsters of men did.
The Pakistani government has put off a decisive move against the Taliban due to 'lack of political consensus.
The policy of allowing militant groups to operate on Pakistani soil has proved disastrous. The jihadi militants do not accept the neat divisions between global, regional and local conflicts. Once they are convinced of the righteousness of their cause, they are willing to fight and blow themselves up anywhere. Rising militancy coupled with a significant decline in the capacity of the state has enabled Pakistan-based jihadi groups to wreak havoc not only in India and Afghanistan but also in Pakistan and its friendly neighbors, Iran and China.
What is important is that these hacks presage what is going to happen for years to come and at far greater cost than what is being imposed on Sony. The weaponization of code is the most significant development in warfare since the weaponization of fissile material.
You may think that charging poor people to go to school is a vicious idea that should have been left behind in the 19th century, but the Democratic Republic of Congo will need an extra $500 million simply to complete the abolition of school fees.
With the world's most successful democracies obsessed with recent failures, international politics has drifted toward more dangerous potential outcomes. Sensible deterrence, bold efforts to reform international institutions, and a readiness to fulfill responsibilities have all fallen victim to the West's exaggerated sense of failure and political stalemate.
Assessing the recent terrorist acts in Kenya, the president explained that "the obvious intent is to create hostility and suspicion across ethnic and religious lines and to drive non-Muslims from certain parts of this country." In his view, "the ultimate aim of this atrocious campaign is to establish an extremist caliphate in our region."
After two weeks of hectic parleys, more than 190 countries at the Lima climate change talks agreed on a plan to fight global warming that would, for the first time, commit all countries to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions. There is a significant departure from one of the defining principles of the last 20 years of climate talks: wealthy countries would not carry the burden of cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
The success of the Internet in China over the past 20 years shows that successful foreign companies in China respect China's market environment and abide by China's law and regulations. U.S. companies operating in China show that those who respect the Chinese law can seize the opportunity of China' s Internet innovation and create immense value, while those who chose opposition will be isolated by themselves and finally abandoned by the Chinese market.
China's push for Internet sovereignty gained momentum abroad after Edward Snowden released information about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs. Capitalizing on the anti-U.S. sentiment in other authoritarian countries like Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, China wooed developing countries with growing online populations to consider the benefits of control of the Internet.
China's leaders ought to recognize that the key to making a one-party political system function effectively in the information age is robust feedback from the public. Limiting open expression will weaken, not strengthen, the Communist Party's authority.
The prevailing mood among China-watchers in 2014 was one of anxiety and skepticism. The year began in the shadow of Chinese assertiveness in the East and South China Seas. Economic concerns quickly took over: by February the property market seemed on the verge of an epic collapse thanks to the previous year's sharp monetary tightening. At midyear the worry was that an endless anti-corruption campaign had caused government sclerosis, making it impossible to get anything done. And by October, as the Communist Party held its law-focused Fourth Plenum, many bemoaned both the lack of evident progress on the economic reforms outlined at the prior year's Third Plenum and the Party's unwillingness to let its power be constrained by Western-style rule of law.
This has once again highlighted the corruption that has come to characterize this country, whereby just about anybody with the money can dictate their terms to the government, where newspapers will sell their editorial line in return for government cash and where the government has no idea about what the Internet really is and doesn't care anyway.
There is no alternative to cooperation. Intensified economic cooperation can play a key role in this respect. Germany and Russia complement each other quite ideally. Each country has what the other needs. Germany has one of the world's most advanced manufacturing sectors, producing a wide range of machinery, plants and goods. And Russia has vast deposits of the natural and mineral resources on which German industry is crucially dependent.