Iran made major concessions. It was excessive demands by the U.S. and its allies that prevented the comprehensive agreement from materializing.
After millions of years of gloriously successful life on Earth, a dangerous new organism arose and spread rapidly across the planet. With unprecedented efficiency, this revolutionary life form pumped noxious fumes into the air, destroyed ecosystems, and exterminated a substantial fraction of its fellow species. And the gasses it added to the atmosphere drastically altered global temperatures so that, between habitat destruction and climate change, the world was changed forever.
The impetus for NATO enlargement did not come from a triumphalist Washington. On the contrary, the U.S. initially resisted even the breakup of the Soviet Union. Since 1990, 12 European states have asked to join NATO. They all chose for themselves to belong to this cooperative military alliance. NATO membership was a key part of "locking in" their turbulent democratic reforms.
Francis is now busy with something more magisterial, more doctrinal: a new encyclical. The last one, released in July 2013, was taken from one already much prepared by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. This time, it will be fully his own and deal with "human ecology."
While the courage, audacity and resistance of Kurdish women fighters combating Islamic State jihadists in Kobani have made headlines in the last few months, Kurdish women have marked another revolutionary step by passing an equality decree that could guarantee their own rights within family and society.
This year I have watched from close quarters as a country has been torn apart. A militant Islamic group has successfully exploited an opportunity to carve out a sphere of influence in a riven nation. In a society divided by ethnic and - more prominently - religious loyalties, decades of tension between communities has manifested as sectarian violence.
The WorldPost has obtained exclusive permission to publish a dialogue between Henry Kissinger and Fu Ying, which took place during a recent visit she made to the United States. Its candor and tone offer valuable insights into the thinking of these two important figures on the foreign policy of their countries. Fu Ying -- who was referred to as the "iron lady" during her time as China's ambassador to the U.K. -- is now the powerful chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress of China. Henry Kissinger is one of America's leading strategists and a former U.S. secretary of state.
I was impressed by the degree of anger, by the overwhelming dissatisfaction with the way things are now, by the unanimity of the clamor for change. I felt that a breaking point will soon be reached.
The government is now afraid to use public force to prevent demonstrators from blockading roads and streets, stealing buses and trucks, ransacking supermarkets and torching government buildings. President Peña Nieto has claimed that his patience has limits, but so far the Ayotzinapa movement appears to have forced him into a corner.
The mood in Mexico is so depressing that even Elena Poniatowska, the novelist-journalist who chronicled the 1968 massacre of students in Tlatelolco, feels a chill when she talks about the murder of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, who were found burned to death in a municipal trash dump. At 82, Poniatowska keeps on exposing social injustice in Mexico in memorable books like Here's to You, Jesusa, Nothing No One: The Voices of the Earthquake and thousands of journalistic articles in newspapers and magazines all over the world. This year, she won the prestigious Premio Cervantes, the equivalent of the Nobel for Spanish language writers.
There is a deep history behind Mexico's current horrors of crime and impunity that only Mexicans can deal with. A weak state, the informal economy and lack of accountability because of a low tax base all play key roles -- but U.S. drug and gun policies are also responsible.
The impunity enjoyed by some has tarnished the police, prosecutors and politicians as a whole, whether honest or dishonest. To prevent another Iguala -- or another Villas de Salvárcar or another San Fernando -- Mexican leaders must show that rule of law prevails, especially for those required to uphold it.
In the political arena in China at this moment, "the rule of law" is the most fashionable topic. The Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China which was held from Oct. 20 to 23 adopted the decision on major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law in China. For the first time, the ruling party of China dedicated an entire plenary session to such a topic.
While no human rights treaty is more widely ratified than the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and while governments are required to report on their compliance on children's rights once every five years, little is done in practice to end the violation of children's rights. It is time for an International Children's Court.
The numbers are alarming. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner in London recently said that five British citizens are joining ISIS every week, swelling the ranks of European Muslims believed to number in the thousands.
I struggle with the fact that some of my best friends in the world are forced to defecate outside. They belong to the latest generation of poverty-stricken Indians, enduring the indignity of not having a toilet. My friends represent just a handful of the 650 million Indians living without toilets.
The truth is that we must hold both sides accountable for the extremists in their midst and for the violence that they commit. And the best tribute we could pay to the poor, innocent people who have been killed is a recommitment to genuine peace and justice, rather than a strategy based on, to quote Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "a heavy hand".
Can we talk about a "Palestinian state" that is capable of being recognized? Or is it rather an artifice destined to become a new failed state in a region where there are already too many? Will it become another state where the most extreme ideologies would be funded and legitimized? A new site for soldiers to travel to on international missions?
I arrived in Liberia two weeks ago, and have yet to touch another human being. For months health care workers have been practicing a "no touch" policy on medical provision.