December 24, 2013 |
Egyptians say the mood is different now. Gone is the call of the revolution demanding justice for the brutal torture and killing of a young man and an end to the police abuse his case exemplified. In its place is a weary, national shrug toward brutal attacks, now that they're directed against the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters. There is little popular demand for justice and little prospect for accountability. If Egypt's military-backed government can get away with killing more than 1,000 protesters in broad daylight in 2013, what has really changed since the days of Hosni Mubarak?
October 21, 2013 |
Pyongyang, North Korea - I became British ambassador to North Korea a year ago, and since then I have seen firsthand the nature of the regime. Its human rights record is appalling; it continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and to sell its military know-how to other states. And yet, I've also seen that it is possible to engage with the regime constructively. The United Kingdom is one of just a handful of Western countries that have diplomatic relations with North Korea (known formally as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2013 |
Christopher Koch, one of Australia's most acclaimed novelists, whose 1978 thriller "The Year of Living Dangerously" illuminated the political and cultural turmoil in Indonesia after World War II, died of cancer Monday in Hobart, Australia. He was 81. His death was confirmed to Australian news media by his agent, Margaret Connolly. During a 55-year career, Koch wrote at least eight novels, which often explored Australians' engagement with their near-neighbors in Asia. "Highways to War" (1995)
September 9, 2013 |
BEIRUT - The Syrian government said Monday that it backed a Russian proposal calling for Damascus to hand over its arsenal of chemical weapons to international authorities in a bid to avoid a U.S. attack. “We, for the sake of protecting our people and children and country and due to our trust in the Russian efforts, will cooperate fully with Russia in this regard so as to take away the excuses of this aggression,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said in a statement. Russia has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
August 29, 2013 |
The Obama administration is telegraphing that it will likely take military action to punish the Syrian government, which it accuses of using chemical weapons against civilians. But it won't inflict the damage necessary to drive President Bashar Assad from power. That calibrated response has come in for criticism, but it's preferable to the alternatives of either ignoring an atrocity or embarking on what could be a costly intervention in a civil war. There is no guarantee that the sort of operation the administration is contemplating - the launching of cruise missiles from ships or submarines - will deter Assad from resorting to chemical warfare in the future, though proponents of this response obviously hope that proves to be the case.
July 9, 2013 |
A report from a Canadian research organization has again raised the uncomfortable question of whether Silicon Valley's technology is being used by so-called terrorist states to repress their citizens. On Tuesday, the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab released a report that focused on Blue Coat Systems and how its technology apparently is still part of Syria's state-sponsored telecommunications networks and is being used in Sudan...