Before last week, all I knew about Papua New Guinea was that its capital was Port Moresby and that it was that island on top of Australia. But while I was searching the internet for examples of the country’s musical offerings, I was fascinated to learn that over 700 languages are spoken there, that most of the island doesn’t have access to television and can only be reached by airplanes, and that there is an incredible diversity of flora and fauna in the mountains and rainforests.
Near the start of the military offensive against Hamas, Orlando sparked a spirited but civil debate with the question, "What is Israel thinking?" I argued one strategic goal was to drive a deeper wedge between the West Bank and Gaza, by forcing Egypt to open its Rafah crossing to refugees and wounded and take on the task of supplying food, fuel and medicine. If all Gaza's lifelines ran through Egypt, Israel could make the claim it is no longer the occupying power.
I used to watch The West Wing. In one of the very first episodes, the fictional president gets a briefing from the fictional Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in which the term “proportional response” is explained. The president is angry because terrorists shot down a military transport plane carrying someone with whom he had a personal relationship and he is ready to unleash the power of the United States military in retribution. The Chairman patiently explains that when they shoot down one of our planes, we take out a target that would be considered equitable.
Last Saturday I got a call from my parents in Athens. It was around seven o'clock here in Pittsburgh, so it must have been around two in the morning for them. They were calling on their cell-phone. They were trapped by riots in a tavern in downtown Athens. But they were not frightened. In fact, they sounded excited, and they held the cell-phone up for me, so that I could hear the chanting of protesters and the
Dagster Donal recently posted the news that a South Korea company is pursuing a deal with Madagascar to lease arable land equivalent to almost half of its currently farmed land for 99 years in order to grow crops for feed and biofuel. Chinese companies have been doing similar deals with a number of African countries but at much smaller scales.
There are still pirates? I mean, I figured there must still be a few if them around because every so often there would be a really stupid movie about modern-day psychos terrorizing some perfectly nice couple on their private yacht. But the news this month has brought attention to the fact that there’s a whole culture of piracy alive and well, centered in Somalia.
Japan's economy is now officially in recession, according to those in charge of labeling such things, which means that they beat us again. While most believe that the U.S. has already entered a recession, it's not official until we have two consecutive quarters of negative growth, so we're just going to have to wait until January.
On World Water Day, the United Nations children's agency (Unicef) has warned that some 600 million children – one out of every four worldwide – will live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040.
Even though this article is not at all scientific or objective, consisting of reported anecdotals from "Trump country" in North Carolina, with a selection of photo illustrations that is suspiciously oriented towards "white trashville", I still found it very intriguing. It stuck in my mind, so much so that I went back to search for it in my browsing history in order to post it here.
"Tough facing retirement with no real hobbies. Take up gardening? A bit too green for a rape-the-earth oil exec. What would my friends say? So when Donald said I could roam the world, pull down a few bucks, and still keep to a loose, leisurely retirement schedule, I was in. Even free green fees. Wouldn't even have to talk to anyone, or so I thought. At Exxon we had our own PR department to handle the nosy press. Here I figured the FBI or Secret Service would handle it, or I simply leave them off my calendar - traveling light by private plane is standard MO anyway. What I can't understand is how NATO even got a meeting - where's the money in that? Russia, China - major energy buys. NATO doesn't even pay for its own transport, and we're past propping up Mideast war zones - so 2003.
Given the Turkish government’s behavior and the country’s evident instability, it’s of no small concern that under NATO’s “nuclear sharing” program, an estimated 50 to 90 atomic weapons reportedly are located at Incirlik (PDF). Although these B61 munitions are considered “tactical” weapons, each thermonuclear device has a potential blast yield of about 340 kilotons—more than 20 times that of the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stepped up his battle with the Trump Administration by hiring a top corruption prosecutor who used to work under former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, according to the Wall Street Journal.