September 27, 2011 |
"You woke the bears! Why did you do that?" That's from one of my favorite scenes in "Anchorman. " In the Oscar-robbed film, Ron Burgundy (played by Will Ferrell) loudly leaps into a bear pit to rescue his girlfriend and then falsely blames her for waking them up. Watching President Obama these days reminds me of that scene. In March 2010, liberal columnist Peter Beinart argued that, for decades, Democratic politicians treated America's innate conservatism like a slumbering bear: If you make no sudden moves and talk quietly, you can get a lot done.
May 16, 2008 |
Myanmar's ruling generals announced Thursday that a new constitution viewed by critics as a pro-government sham had been overwhelming approved by voters. The commission in charge of the Saturday referendum said 92.4% of voters approved the constitution, state-run media reported. The pro-democracy opposition says the new constitution will enshrine military rule.
March 1, 2014 |
KIEV, Ukraine -- Crimea's new pro-Moscow premier, Sergei Aksenov, moved the date of the peninsula's status referendum to March 30. On Thursday, the Crimean parliament, which appointed Aksenov, had called for a referendum on May 25, the date also set for the urgent presidential election in Ukraine. “In connection with a necessity we decided to speed up the holding of the referendum on the stauts of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea,” Aksenov said Saturday in Simferopol at a new government session, the UNIAN information agency reported.
October 25, 2011 |
When South Sudan declared independence in July, the international community breathed a sigh of relief. A difficult six-year process, set forth in the ambitious 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan's 22-year-long civil war, was finally over. The world appeared to feel it could stop focusing on Sudan. But Sudan's wars have not ended. They have, in fact, multiplied. Five of Sudan's 16 states are mired in armed conflicts. Since June, new conflicts have erupted in two volatile states — Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile — just north of the South Sudan border, while the three states in the western region of Darfur are still a war zone, although that conflict has dropped from the headlines.
December 27, 2009 |
Abortion rights activists dreamed of legislative victories across Mexico after the Supreme Court last year upheld a Mexico City law allowing abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Instead, the opposite has happened. In state after state, antiabortion forces have won changes to local constitutions declaring that life begins at conception and explicitly granting legal rights to the unborn. In all, 17 state legislatures have approved such measures, often with minimal debate, since the August 2008 court decision validating Mexico City's law. The Gulf coast state of Veracruz last month became the most recent state to do so. Its measure also called on the Mexican Congress to consider a similar amendment to the nation's Constitution.
March 16, 2014 |
This year was always going to be a difficult one for Democrats, as they battle to keep their five-seat majority in the Senate. But in recent months, the political landscape has grown bleaker. Let's start with the basics: Democrats have more seats at risk this year than Republicans do. Of the 36 Senate seats up for election (including three midterm vacancies), 21 are held by Democrats. And seven of those Democratic seats are in Republican-leaning "red states" that Mitt Romney won in 2012: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.
November 21, 2012 |
YANGON, Myanmar - Maung Thura, a comedian known as Zarganar, is a barrel of a man, stocky with a shaved head and a deep, forceful voice that seems out of place among the fluorescent lights and office furniture of the Home media group he recently helped found. Zarganar's biting wit and open criticism of repression in recent decades often irked Myanmar's government, which jailed him for 11 years on such charges as "public order offenses," including five spent in solitary confinement.
May 11, 2008 |
In this cyclone-ravaged country where most people have more important things on their minds, like the daily struggle for fresh water, food and shelter, Myanmar's ruling generals sent their people to the polls Saturday to vote on a constitution that opponents call a cynical attempt to maintain the military government's grip on power.
September 17, 2008 |
Members of Israel's ruling party head for the polls today to elect a new leader, pitting a top peace negotiator against a tough-talking former general in a race that could have profound implications for the future of the nation's political center. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pledged to resign in the face of mounting corruption charges once the new Kadima party leader is elected.
April 27, 2012 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The litany of abuses was chilling: mass murder, rape, sexual slavery. Forcing children to fight. Chopping off victims' limbs. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor's conviction Thursday by an international tribunal in the Netherlands on charges of abetting such war crimes in the West African country of Sierra Leone sent a powerful message to other warlords that they will eventually face justice, human rights activists and prosecutors say. But it also highlights what can be a wrenching tension between pursuing justice or peace first in some of the world's most violent, chaotic corners.