There was a bit of good news from Europe last week. Two of the nations that desperately need some respite from austerity essentially told German Chancellor Merkel to stuff it. France, under pressure from Germany and the European Union to meet the E.U.'s straightjacket requirement of deficits of no more than three percent of GDP (whether or not depression looms) informed the E.U. that they will not hit this target until 2017. The government of President Francois Hollande, under fire for failing to ignite a recovery, now plans economic stimulus measures -- and the target be damned. Under E.U. rules, France can be fined up to 0.2 percent of its GDP. The French seem to be saying, 'So sue us!'
In front of Ovid's statue in Constanta, I met up with Mircea Tuglea, a writer, translator, literary critic, and teacher who lives with his family in Constanta. We spent a good part of the day together, as he discoursed on various sad topics but always with a joke or ironic aside thrown in to lighten things up.
Bring Back Our Girls,
Boko Haram Abduction,
Boko Haram Kidnapping,
Boko Haram Nigeria,
Boko Haram Nigeria Cease-Fire,
Boko Haram Violence,
Nigeria Boko Haram,
Safe Schools Initiative,
With the possibility that the Chibok girls will go free soon, we must intensify our efforts for the wider global goal that every girl has the chance to be at school, safe and free from violence.
Following the non-binding British Parliament's recognition of Palestine, it has been written a lot about Israel's inaction regarding the peace process. While reporting on Israel's politics and policy, it is important to draw the full picture -- most Israelis want peace.
Obama Cairo Speech,
To hear these "experts" pontificating about Islam or Arab culture is more than annoying. It's downright dangerous. Instead of elevating the discourse, they dumb it down. And instead of making us aware of the enormous complexities involved in these conflict zones, they reduce them to simple and easy clichés.
The key to untangling this mess and creating a series of tactical and strategic responses is to understand one basic truth: There are spirals of violence here that come from below, from the street, and spirals that come from above, from the state. Responses by citizens must undercut the violent spiral and address separately the state and the street.
Weekend Roundup 38,
Hong Kong Protests,
Nathan Gardels Weekend Roundup,
The Worldpost Weekend Roundup,
This week, as Baghdad is under siege from within and Kobani is poised to fall to ISIS fighters, the question of "Who Lost Iraq?" is taking center stage.
Many, including some former insiders, are quick to blame President Obama for pulling American troops out "too soon" -- despite the fact that the Iraq war wearily tested the sacrifice and patience of Americans longer than World War I and II combined. Obama was elected in the first place to end it all.
The primary fault, more likely, lies with the blunt trauma to the region caused by the U.S. invasion and occupation in 2003, the unwise dismantling of the Iraqi army and the exclusion of Sunnis from post-Saddam power arrangements. A decade later, the counter-revolution is underway. In this contest, the reticent use of 21st century air power appears to be no match for the 17th century fervor of the Islamic State's boots on the ground.
The French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy calls for the expulsion of modern day Turkey from NATO because of Turkey's willful abandonment of the Kurds in Kobani. Writing from Beirut, legendary former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke traces the appeal of ISIS today to the yearning for Islamic authority after the early 20th century demise of the Ottoman Caliphate. (continued)
World Food Day,
World Food Programme,
Palms For Life,
Palms For Life Fund,
A parent who doesn't feed his/her hungry child is judged harshly -- and children come to understand that being fed regularly is their birth right, their entitlement. This is not the case for those living in poverty and with food insecurity.
As the deadline for the final nuclear deal between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic becomes closer, and as the world powers appear to be softening their demands on Iran's nuclear capabilities, Netanyahu's fear in the signing of a final nuclear deal and his objective is to postpone this process between Iran and six world powers.
China U.S. Economy,
China America Relations,
China Global Order,
China u.s. Relations,
China u.s. Worldpower,
China World Power,
China may join in discussions about hotspot issues with the aim of seeking a peaceful solution, but it will not turn into a party involved in the conflict or take steps that make the problem worse.
In the Gulf, women are dangerously placed atop the social pyramid as unreachable, fragile beings.
With Ebola wreaking havoc on Liberia (and neighboring countries), the level of misery is, unfortunately set to soar.
Just as the church asked if they are capable of welcoming us without compromising their doctrine on the family and matrimony, so too must we ask if we are capable of allowing them this opportunity for reflection and growth without compromising our own strength and knowledge that we are not flawed beings and that we do not require their affirmation to affirm ourselves.
As the votes come in next Sunday, leaders across all sectors should take note of the opportunities that this election offers and discern the best steps to work with either administration.
Fresh off a surprising victory in the first round of Brazil's presidential election, Aécio Neves suddenly seems like a man with a real chance at leading the first center-right administration in 12 years.
The Bus On Jaffa Road,
I lived through and observed this saga up close and have always been inspired by the strength and courage of Len and Vicki Eisenfeld and Arline Duker.
I was 18-20 at the time. It was a very difficult time, and I would not characterize it as a feeling of freedom. Freedom was the last thing everyone was thinking about, but the inflation, food, and shortage of everything else were foremost on everyone's mind.
In Romania, there was no Charter 77 or Solidarity trade union movement. Only a few intellectuals had come out against the Ceausescu regime, and most ended up in exile as a result. The first real organization of civil society emerged in the first exhilarating days of revolution in December 1989.
Although the CDC can be commended for its efforts to contain Ebola here and abroad, the effort could be improved if changes to the health and risk communication were made.
U.s. News ,
Healthy Living News
You can't just expect any nurse or any doctor or any health care worker or layperson to understand the deconning procedures by way of some kind of pamphlet or 10-minute training video. Not only is it mentally rigorous, but it's physically exhausting.