November 13, 2019

World

"Kim has a stable dictatorship that shows few signs of breaking — one that he can likely pass on to the next in line for dynastic rule. Why should he change it?"

"Anyone who thought the prospect of a deadline would clarify British minds on Brexit is turning out to be sorely mistaken. With a month left before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the political chaos is deepening."

"Even as Beijing is stepping up its persecution of Muslim Uighurs, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia cozied up to Chinese President Xi Jinping on his trip to China last week."

"Since Stonehenge slipped into the written record in the medieval era, it has been a place to project our ideas of ourselves. It was said, by the 20th-century archaeologist and writer Jacquetta Hawkes, that “every age has the Stonehenge it deserves”"

"In the years since the crisis began, more than three million Venezuelans have fled to other countries, and those who can’t afford to leave have seen their quality of life deteriorate to previously unthinkable levels..."

"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."

"She was a 20-yr-old college student in Alabama who had become convinced of the righteousness of the Islamic State. So she duped her parents into thinking she was going on a college trip, and instead bought a plane ticket to Turkey with her tuition."

"While neither 'Medicare for All' nor a wealth tax will turn America into Venezuela overnight, all it would take is a series of catastrophic policies."

"Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax."

"Have world leaders really got the will to bring peace to Yemen? We hear much about Yemen’s crisis, but far less about the hypocrisy of states fuelling the very conflict they condemn."

"Her real name was Monica Elfriede Witt, an exemplary Air Force counterintelligence agent who had studied Farsi and carried out covert missions in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Qatar."

"On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, a former political prisoner assesses the prospect of change in Iran."

"The Venezuelan people are already destitute, and anything that accelerates Mr. Maduro’s demise is good for them. But what happens next?"

"Japanese women are pushing back against a tradition that dictates they must give chocolates to male colleagues on Valentine’s Day, with growing anger at the practice of “forced giving”."

"An experiment with a state-sponsored basic income didn’t encourage the unemployed to look for work. But it did increase their sense of well-being."

"Stop looking for meaning in Brexit... This wasn't some great multi-decade reckoning... It wasn't foreordained. It was a series of accidents..."

"As the Mexican cartel leader’s trial draws to an end, one thing is clear: drug kingpins reign as long as they make their partners money. When they stop, they end up in jail."

"As in 1919, the temptation to pursue more democracy and deeper international cooperation must be managed carefully, lest tragic unintended consequences follow."

"In the absence of government action to address today’s most pressing global problems, multinational corporations are stepping up to offer their own solutions. As in the seventeenth century, when European joint-stock companies built private empires,"

"Russia created a playbook for spreading disinformation on social media. Now the rest of the world is following it... The global spread of social media disinformation comes in a year when major elections are set to take place..."

"Ms. Merkel is the most visible and powerful woman in the world: whether consciously or not, she’s served as a role model to women and girls across the globe, and as proof of the political heights to which a woman today can rise."

"In Gibraltar, a British territory, 96 percent of the population voted against Brexit, but they are also adamantly opposed to joint rule by Spain. It might be time to reconsider."

"Much of the Western socialist left has persisted in ignoring the trajectory of Venezuela in order to sustain a fantasy of “21st-century socialism.”"

"The genius of the French president is his ability to put a neo-Bonapartist ideology — the improving, totalizing but intensely personal vision of the emperor — in service of neoliberal centrism."

"Arab Spring, move aside. Latin Spring is now blossoming, and if all goes well, it will be less bloody and a lot more successful at ousting corrupt leaders and promoting homegrown democratically elected representatives..."

"By the numbers, the European Union is a giant. Its economy exceeds China’s by $7 trillion and is just a bit smaller than America’s $20 trillion. ... But if one measures by its weight in world affairs, Europe is a runt."

"Autocracy flourished in 2018 because when Washington pursues a so-called realist policy of global retrenchment, it looks for dictators it thinks it can rely on."

"Thwarting Brexit carries proportionally high “hidden” dangers. Supranational, “command and control” approaches to politics are losing favor across Europe..."

"Let’s hope the February meeting does not occur. Trump had been successful through the middle of May of last year when he was pressuring—but not talking to—the North Koreans."

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

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