April 24, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - As President Obama warned of possible new U.S. sanctions against Russia, a senior Ukrainian official Thursday urged the West to move immediately to impose penalties against entire sectors of the Russian economy. Danylo Lubkivsky, Ukraine's deputy foreign minister, said the United States and Europe need to move beyond sanctions on individuals to the more far-reaching “sectoral” sanctions because Russia “has already crossed the red line.” With Russia sending more troops to its region bordering Ukraine, “we have to do it right now,” he said in an appearance at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
April 23, 2014 |
TOKYO -- Hiroshi Kyoso says he values Japan's relationship with the United States highly and feels warmly about Washington's new ambassador to Tokyo, Caroline Kennedy. But as the 90-year-old veteran of World War II arrived Wednesday morning to pray at Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine -- a controversial site that commemorates nearly 2.5 million of Japan's war dead including 14 top war criminals -- Kyoso said he saw no connection between the shrine and Japan's ties with America. If a Japanese leader visits Yasukuni, he said, it's only natural.
April 23, 2014 |
Even as the United States continues its historic move toward fairness and equity for gay people, antiquated anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in a dozen states. Theoretically, these laws were rendered unenforceable by the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, but apparently not everyone has received that message. In the Lawrence case, the court declared that state laws banning consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional. Yet somehow, between 2011 and 2014, 12 men were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana under the state's remaining anti-sodomy laws.
April 22, 2014 |
The cheers were louder, the runners more determined, the tears of joy and relief at the Boston Marathon finish line Monday more heartfelt than ever. And yes, the security was tighter. But on a brilliant spring day, the city brought to grief by terrorist bombings one year earlier sprinted back in the resolute style of the runners who tore through quiet suburbs and charming town squares to the finish line, where the roars grew deafening as Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the marathon since 1983.
April 20, 2014 |
Prince Bandar bin Sultan's replacement last week as Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief has fueled speculation about a shift in the monarchy's shaky relations with the United States and its position toward the Syrian conflict - not to mention about the prince's political future. Yet many political experts and pundits believe Bandar's departure will barely affect Saudi foreign policies. And they say it's possible the prince could return to the political scene stronger than ever. “The last person to be relieved of his duties [in 2012]
April 20, 2014 |
The government of Iraq last week announced that it had padlocked the infamous prison at Abu Ghraib. The gates are closed. The inmates moved. Whether the closure is permanent or temporary -- Iraqi officials suggest the latter -- this ought to qualify as a notable milestone. What does it signify? Sometimes a prison is just a building, its closure of no more significance than the demolition of a market or the shuttering of a strip mall. Yet from time to time, the closing of a facility constructed for the purpose of confining humans invites reflection.