- -Zakaria: Palin Did Not Understand the Questions (YouTube.com)
Fareed Zakaria makes the point that in Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric, Palin made it clear that she did not understand Couric's question about a $700 billion bailout of financial institutions. Since the Vice President is a "heartbeat away" from the presidency, he argues that such a candidate should not be national candidate. He further explains that Palin could probably provide "correct" answers, but a potential president must understand the questions in order to become effective in solving very complicated problems. 11-08
- -05-10-08 Is It Time to Invade Burma with Aid? (Time.com)
"With as many as 1 million people still at risk, it is conceivable that the death toll will, within days, approach that of the entire number of civilians killed in the genocide in Darfur."
"The cold truth is that states rarely undertake military action unless their national interests are at stake; and the world has yet to reach a consensus about when, and under what circumstances, coercive interventions in the name of averting humanitarian disasters are permissible. As the response to the 2004 tsunami proved, the world's capacity for mercy is limitless. But we still haven't figured out when to give war a chance." 05-08
- -05-10-08 Race Against Time to Avoid Disease in Myanmar (MSNBC News)
"Reports of diarrhea, malaria and skin problems have already surfaced, and health officials fear waterborne illnesses will emerge due to a lack of clean water, along with highly contagious diseases such as measles that are easily spread."
"Some victims have been drinking whatever water is available with many freshwater sources contaminated by saltwater or decaying human bodies and animal carcasses. UNICEF has reported diarrhea in up to 20 percent of the children living in affected areas." 05-08
- -01-04-08 Bhutto's Representative Scoffs at Musharraf's Explanation for Assassination (Time.com)
"Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party spokeswoman Sherry Rehman scoffs at the insinuation that Bhutto is responsible for her own death, saying, 'This is an insult to the shaheed [martyred] leader and all those who lost their lives with her. The regime is essentially trying to say that they all deserved to die because they attended a public rally which is their constitutional right. Rather than admitting its own failure in safeguarding the life and property of Pakistani citizens, the regime is trying to tell people that you will be responsible for the consequences if you try to exercise your fundamental rights.' She blames the government for not doing enough to protect Bhutto."
"More than likely, all three factors played a role in Bhutto's death — imperfect protection (if not criminal negligence), a risky campaigning style, and an extremist group waiting for the perfect opportunity to create havoc in a country already teetering on the edge of collapse. But as campaigning goes forward for parliamentary elections now slated for February 18, many similar opportunities for further destabilization will present themselves. A new report released by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, a terrorism watchdog group, shows that casualties from terrorist attacks have increased fivefold in the past two years. According to the report, as many as 1,442 terrorist attacks, incidents of political violence and border clashes took place in 2007, leaving 3,448 people dead and another 5,353 injured." 01-08
- -01-21-08 World Markets Plunge on U.S. Fears (CNN News)
"Stock markets around the world plummeted Monday, prompted by pessimism about U.S. President George W. Bush's plans to boost the U.S. economy." 01-08
- -01-27-08 Indonesia's Ex-Dictator Dies (MSNBC News)
"Former dictator Suharto, an army general who crushed Indonesia’s communist movement and pushed aside the country’s founding father to usher in 32 years of tough rule that saw up to a million political opponents killed, died Sunday. He was 86." 01-08
- -02-05-08 China Hit by Coldest Winter in 100 Years (MSNBC News)
"Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century."
"Freezing weather has killed scores of people and left travelers stranded before the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival — the only opportunity many people have to take a holiday all year." 02-08
- -02-18-08 Kosovo Declares Independence (Time.com)
"The parliament of the disputed province of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Sunday, triggering a massive street party in the capital of Pristina and angry protests by Serbia and Russia. The move, endorsed by the U.S. and most of European countries, came after a series of failed attempts to reach a compromise between Serbs and Kosovo's predominantly ethnic Albanians through direct talks or in the U.N. Security Council." 02-08
- -02-19-08 Fidel Castro Resigns After 50 Years of Rule (Time.com)
" 'My desire was always to fulfill my responsibility until my last breath.' With that, Fidel Castro suggested that he had wanted to hang on to power until the very end. But the central message of the letter published early Tuesday morning on the website of Granma, Cuba's official newspaper, was that poor health was forcing him formally to relinquish power. 'To my close compatriots ... I say that I will not aspire to nor accept — I repeat, I will not aspire to nor accept — the office of President of the Council of State or Commander in Chief,' he wrote. His resignation, coming just days before Cuba's National Assembly is to vote for a new leader, brings an end to nearly fifty years of rule." 02-08
- -02-19-08 Too Warm for Penguins? (Time.com)
"A new report by French scientists in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences finds that king penguins could be wiped out over the coming decades due to global warming."
"If global warming means they're not getting enough food, the conditions below the penguins could be even worse. Temperature rise due to climate change is occurring quicker at the poles than the rest of the planet — on the Antarctic Peninsula, temperatures have risen five times faster than the global average over the past 50 years." 02-08
- -03-15-08 China Re-Elects President Hu Jintao (Time.com)
"China's legislature has re-elected President Hu Jintao to a second term five-year term. Hu was also re-appointed as head of China's military commission." 03-08
- -03-25-08 Pakistan Elects a New Prime Minister (Time.com)
"Declaring that democratic institutions will be the bedrock of his tenure, Gilani ordered the immediate release of the Supreme Court judges who had been detained since Musharraf declared emergency rule on November 3, when he suspended the constitution. Thirteen Supreme Court judges and 48 other judges had been detained amid a crackdown on civil liberties. 'I order all the detained judges to be released immediately," Gilani told the gathered parliamentarians after the national assembly voted the majority Pakistan People's Party stalwart in as premier. 'Our slain leader Benazir Bhutto sacrificed her life for the cause of democracy, and now it is our responsibility to strengthen the democratic institutions in line with the aspirations of common people.' " 03-08
- -03-27-08 Israelis Blocking Urgent Medical Care for Palestinians (Time.com)
"Israel argues that it is no longer the occupying power in Gaza and therefore no longer has responsibility for the Palestinians living there. But many international agencies say that since Israel controls all land, air and sea access to Gaza, it cannot shirk its responsibility to Palestinians trapped inside, nor can it deny Palestinians the right to urgent medical care if they refuse to become Israeli collaborators." 03-08
- -04-06-08 Pirates Seize Cruise Ship Near Somalia (Time.com)
"Pirates seized control of a French cruise ship Friday off the coast of Somalia, France's Foreign Ministry said."
"Wracked by more than a decade of violence and anarchy, Somalia does not have its own navy and a transitional government formed in 2004 with U.N. help has struggled to assert control." 04-08
- -04-13-08 Tibetans Want Autonomy (MSNBC News)
"The Dalai Lama said Sunday that Tibet cannot make any more concessions to China and renewed his calls for the government to cease suppression in his former homeland and withdraw troops."
"The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader denied Chinese claims that he has called for Tibet to be split from China and that he is behind recent turmoil, saying instead that he is committed to pursuing Tibet’s right to autonomy." 04-08
- -05-06-08 Death Toll Rises in Myanmar (U.S. News)
"The death toll from a powerful cyclone that struck Myanmar three days ago rose to 22,500 Tuesday, with a further 41,000 people still missing, the government said, and foreign governments and aid organizations began mobilizing for a major relief operation." 05-08
- -05-07-08 Diplomat: 100,000 May Have Died in Myunmar (CBS News)
"Bodies floated in flood waters and survivors tried to reach dry ground on boats using blankets as sails, while the top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar said Wednesday that up to 100,000 people may have died in the devastating cyclone." 05-08
- -05-07-08 Dmitry Vedvedev New President of Russia (Wikipedia.org)
"Medvedev was appointed first deputy prime minister of the Russian government on November 14, 2005. Formerly Vladimir Putin's chief of staff, he was also the Chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, a post he has held (for the second time) since 2000. On December 10, 2007, he was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by the largest Russian political party, United Russia, and officially endorsed on December 17, 2007. Medvedev's candidacy was supported by incumbent President Vladimir Putin and pro-presidential parties. A technocrat and political appointee, Medvedev had never held elective office before 2008." 05-08
- -05-07-08 Myunmar Denies Visas to Volunteers (USA Today)
"Hungry crowds of cyclone survivors stormed a few shops that opened in Burma's devastated Irrawaddy delta Wednesday, as the military-ruled country's visa restrictions hampered international aid efforts."
"Little relief reached the people in the worst-hit western region, even as corpses drifted in salty flood waters after the weekend disaster that killed more than 22,000 people and left an estimated 1 million homeless." 05-08
- -05-28-08 Fuel Prices in Europe Causing Reaction (Time.com)
"American motorists are understandably grumbling over skyrocketing gas prices as the summer travel season approaches. But their pain hardly registers against the rage afoot in Europe these days. Fishermen, truck drivers and farmers are threatening to bring entire economic sectors to a halt with protests against crippling fuel costs. The wave of angry action is expected to spread further across Europe in coming days, despite efforts by political leaders to feel the pain and figure out how to alleviate it." 05-08
- -05-30-08 Countries Agree to Cluster Bomb Ban (CNN News)
"More than 100 countries attending a conference in Dublin, Ireland formally adopted a treaty Friday to ban cluster bombs -- a large, unreliable and inaccurate weapon that often affects civilians long after the end of armed conflict."
"Most of a cluster bomb's bomblets are meant to explode on impact, but many do not. Credible estimates show the weapons fail to explode on impact between 10 and 40 percent of the time, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross."
"That means unexploded bomblets lie scattered across a target area, often exploding only when handled or disturbed -- posing a serious risk to civilians."
"Some of the biggest makers and users of cluster bombs cited by human rights groups -- such the United States, Russia, China and Israel -- were not involved in the talks and did not sign the accord. Organizers expressed hope that those nations would nevertheless be pressured into compliance." 05-08
- -05-30-08 One of Earth's Last Uncontacted Tribes Photographed (DailyMail.com)
"Thought never to have had any contact with the outside world, everything about these people is, and hopefully will remain, a mystery."
- -06-26-08 North Korea to Be Removed from Terrorist List (Time.com)
"Back in early 2002, George Bush called North Korea a charter member of the axis of evil. This morning, the President gave Kim Jong Il one of the diplomatic plums the North Korean dictator has most sought: removal from both the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and the Trading with the Enemy Act. In short, Pyongyang is now off what one State Department official called "the ultimate bad guy list." Dropping North Korea from the terrorism roster will take effect 45 days after the Administration formally informs Congress of its decision." 06-08
- -07-06-07 Pakistan Faces Political Challenges (PBS.org)
"RAY SUAREZ: Well, is the state moving closer to becoming ungovernable, not just from the mosque siege, but from a combination of many things that are going on across a range of the country's life?"
"STEVE COLL: Well, there are multiple crises going on simultaneously, and what they have in common is a search for a sustainable political order that is true to Pakistan's history, its constitutional traditions, and to the existence of large political parties in the country."
"This is a country that has a robust politics. It's just that that politics isn't working under military rule, and the president is isolated. And unless he draws out more partners and opens up the process in a way that allows him to build these alliances, I'm afraid this pressure that Dr. Rizvi refers to is going to continue to build up." 07-07
- -07-06-08 UAE to Cancel $7 Billion Iraq Debt (CNN News)
"The president of the United Arab Emirates has agreed to cancel all of Iraq's debts to the country, an official government source said." 07-08
- -07-09-07 Blair Insider Tells All (Time Magazine)
"As British Prime Minister Tony Blair's director of communications and strategy, Alastair Campbell was, for almost ten years, his most trusted adviser and confidant. One of the principal architects of New Labour, the reinvention of the ossified party of the working classes as a modern, centrist party with broad appeal, press chief Campbell was one of the biggest beasts to stalk the corridors of Westminster. His influence was immense, shaping and communicating Blair's efforts to overhaul the country-in attitude, as well as in its economy and public services-much as they had overhauled their party. An eyewitness to crucial decisions in foreign policy and a catalyst in others, Campbell treated world leaders with the bruising directness he meted out to his own colleagues." 07-07
- -07-10-07 China Executes Ex-Food and Drug Chief (USA Today)
"China executed the former head of its food and drug watchdog on Tuesday for approving untested medicine in exchange for cash, the strongest signal yet from Beijing that it is serious about tackling its product safety crisis." 07-07
- -07-10-07 Pope: Other Denominations Not True Churches (Guardian Unlimited)
"Protestant churches yesterday reacted with dismay to a new declaration approved by Pope Benedict XVI insisting they were mere 'ecclesial communities' and their ministers effectively phonies with no right to give communion."
"The president of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, pastor Domenico Maselli, called it a 'huge step backwards in relations between the Roman Catholic church and other Christian communities'." 07-07
- -07-10-07 Pope: Other Denominations Not True Churches (MSNBC News)
"Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches." 07-07
- -07-13-07 Aftermath of Red Mosque Siege in Pakistan (CBS News)
"The army crackdown on the radical mosque has raised Musharraf's standing among moderates and foreign backers worried about rising extremism in Pakistan."
"But it has given hard-liners a rallying point and new martyrs to mourn, and has prompted calls from al Qaeda and Taliban for revenge attacks." 07-07
- -07-14-07 North Korea Shuts Down Nuclear Facility (CBS News)
"North Korea told the United States it shut down its nuclear reactor, the State Department said Saturday, hours after a ship cruised into port loaded with oil promised in return for the country's pledge to disarm." 07-07
- -07-14-08 Sudanese President Charged With Genocide (MSNBC News)
"The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court filed genocide charges Monday against Sudan's president, accusing him of masterminding attempts to wipe out African tribes in Darfur with a campaign of murder, rape and deportation." 07-08
- -07-17-07 China Tries to Go Green (MSNBC News)
"China's deputy director of State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) added, 'One-third of China's land mass is affected by acid rain. Over 300 million rural residents have no access to clean drinking water. One-third of urban residents breathe heavily polluted air.' "
"The report warned, "Thanks to the traditional model of economic development – which is energy intensive, heavily polluting and relies on high levels of consumption – China has become the world's largest consumer of water, largest emitter of waste water and one of the three areas in the world worst affected by acid rain." 07-07
- -07-23-07 Turkey Votes (USNews.com)
"As a mandate on the role of at least some religion in Turkey's secular political order, the outcome of Sunday's nationwide parliamentary election could not have been clearer. The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and known for its strong Islamic leanings, took almost half the total vote, improving upon its 2002 performance by slightly over 12 percentage points. But if the vote left the old-guard secularists of the Republican People's Party (CHP) with even less political clout, it is far from certain that the results will resolve the tensions that precipated the early election." 07-07
- -07-23-08 Karadzic a Big Win for International Justice (Time.com)
"It had taken 13 years to put [Bosnian Serb leader Radovan] Karadzic behind bars, but his final minutes of freedom give some indication of the degrading life he had been leading — and showed the value of international justice, which deserves far more credit than it gets."
"But the most crucial functions of international indictments and arrest warrants are ones that are rarely heralded: stigmatization and incapacitation of really bad people. Even to the world's worst actors, that can be a powerful incentive to behave. It's revealing that since the ICC issued its request for an arrest warrant, Sudan's al-Bashir has improved humanitarian access to Darfur refugees. And this before he got a glimpse of his future." 07-08
- -07-26-07 Spielberg Pressures Chinese on Dafur (ABC News)
"Steven Spielberg, under pressure from Darfur activists, may quit his post as artistic adviser to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, unless China takes a harder line against Sudan, a representative of the film director told ABC News."
"China, Sudan's largest oil customer and perennial defender, has come under renewed scrutiny in the lead up to the Olympics, as the country juggles its need for cheap energy with its desire to host a trouble-free games." 07-07
- -07-30-08 Amnesty: China Broke Human Rights Promise (MSNBC News)
"The organization said the games, touted by Chinese and Olympic officials alike as a way to help expand freedoms in the authoritarian country, have instead led the government to muzzle critics in hopes of presenting an image of harmony and stability to the outside world." 07-08
- -07-30-08 Beijing Air Pollution Index Shows Improvement (MSNBC News)
"Beijing's dirty air showed dramatic improvement Wednesday, with a city environmental official saying curbs on cars and factories are having the desired effect in cleaning up the air for next week's Olympics."
"The curbs included pulling half the city's 3.3 million vehicles off the roads, halting most construction and closing some factories in the capital and surrounding provinces." 07-08
- -07-30-08 Why Karadzic Wants No Lawyer (Time.com)
"It should have come as no surprise that accused war criminal Radovan Karadzic had no use for a lawyer once he was apprehended for trial in the Hague. Choosing to represent themselves is a time-honored tactic in trials where the accused reject the authority of the court and the legitimacy of the proceedings, seeing the trial instead as a platform for political protest." 07-08
- -07-31-07 Barely Surviving with Water Shortage in Dafur (Christian Science Monitor)
"With Darfur refugee women waiting up to two days for their chance to fill buckets at a communal water point, it's only a matter of time before bickering turns into a full-fledged fight."
"In the 115-degree F. heat of the Touloum refugee camp, just across Sudan's border in eastern Chad, the stakes are high. Refugees receive only 4.5 liters, on average, per family member – just enough for drinking and cooking. A family that misses its day or gets shoved aside at the water pump may not survive." 07-07
- -07-31-07 China's Me Generation (Time Magazine)
"There are roughly 300 million adults in China under age 30, a demographic cohort that serves as a bridge between the closed, xenophobic China of the Mao years and the globalized economic powerhouse that it is becoming. Young Chinese are the drivers and chief beneficiaries of the country's current boom: according to a recent survey by Credit Suisse First Boston, the incomes of 20- to 29-year-olds grew 34% in the past three years, by far the biggest of any age group. And because of their self-interested, apolitical pragmatism, they could turn out to be the salvation of the ruling Communist Party — so long as it keeps delivering the economic goods. Survey young, urban Chinese today, and you will find them drinking Starbucks, wearing Nikes and blogging obsessively. But you will detect little interest in demanding voting rights, let alone overthrowing the country's communist rulers. 'On their wish list,' says Hong Huang, a publisher of several lifestyle magazines, 'a Nintendo Wii comes way ahead of democracy.' " 07-07
- -08-09-08 Georgia Declares War With Russia (CNN News)
"Georgia's parliament Saturday approved a request by President Mikhail Saakashvili's to impose a 'state of war,' as the conflict between Georgia and Russia escalated, Georgian officials said."
"Saakashvili accused Russia of launching an unprovoked full-scale military attack against his country, including targeting civilian homes, while Russian officials insist their troops were protecting people from Georgia's attacks on South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region that borders Russia." 08-08
- -08-11-07 Race for Arctic Seabed Is On (CBS News)
"Canada's prime minister announced plans Friday for an army training center and a deepwater port on the third day of an Arctic trip meant to assert sovereignty over a region, while Denmark said it was staking its own claim with a scientific expedition."
"Global warming has raised the stakes in the scramble for sovereignty in the Arctic because shrinking polar ice could someday open up resource development and new shipping lanes."
"As global warming melts the passage — which is navigable only during a slim window in the summer — the waters are exposing unexplored resources, and becoming an attractive shipping route. Commercial ships can shave off some 2,480 miles from Europe to Asia compared with the current routes through the Panama Canal." 08-07
- -08-11-08 Why Africa Is Still Starving (Time.com)
"Over time, sustained food aid creates dependence on handouts and shifts focus away from improving agricultural practices to increase local food supplies. Ethiopia exemplifies the consequences of giving a starving man a fish instead of teaching him to catch his own. This year the U.S. will give more than $800 million to Ethiopia: $460 million for food, $350 million for HIV/AIDS treatment — and just $7 million for agricultural development. Western governments are loath to halt programs that create a market for their farm surpluses, but for countries receiving their charity, long-term food aid can become addictive. Why bother with development when shortfalls are met by aid? Ethiopian farmers can't compete with free food, so they stop trying." 08-08
- -08-12-07 How U.S. Credit Problems Went Global (Time.com)
"Anyone who clinged to the notion that the risks lurking in America's mortgage pool were a local concern has now been proven wrong. The U.S. subprime mortgage market — turned sour by borrowers with poor credit struggling to meet payments as interest rates rise — is fast becoming a global worry. With huge chunks of this debt packaged up and sold to financial companies across the world, bad loans are roughing up banks and markets just about everywhere." 08-07
- -08-25-07 Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes in China (MSNBC News)
"No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo."
"But just as the speed and scale of China’s rise as an economic power have no clear parallel in history, so its pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut." 08-07
- -08-25-08 Pakistan's Government Falls Apart (Time.com)
"Pakistan's five-month-old coalition government has fallen apart a week after it forced Pervez Musharraf to step down as President. Dispelling any hope that Musharraf's departure would inaugurate an era of political stability, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced today that his minority party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), would pull out of the troubled government, retreating into opposition of the majority, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), led by Asif Ali Zardari." 08-08
- -08-26-08 Russia Recognizes Georgian Rebels (BBC News)
"President Dmitry Medvedev has declared that Russia formally recognises the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia."
"Earlier, the US and France called the Russian move regrettable, while the UK said it categorically rejected it. Nato said the declaration violated numerous UN Security Council resolutions that Russia itself had endorsed."
"However the leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which have had de facto independence since the early 1990s, thanked Russia." 08-08
- -08-26-08 Russia's Game Plan in Georgia (BBC News)
"As far as Moscow is concerned, the Russian army has completed its pullout from Georgia."
"Russia says its 'peacekeepers' are sticking around to prevent further bloodshed and to protect the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia."
"By keeping troops in Georgia, Russia is also sending an unambiguous message to the West: that the former Soviet republic remains part of Russia's sphere of influence."
"Today - buoyed by massive oil and gas revenues - Russia feels more confident to flex its muscles, restore lost influence and defend its interests close to home." 08-08
- -09-01-08 Japanese Prime Minister Resigns (Time.com)
"Japan's unpopular prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, announced his resignation Monday after less than a year in office."
"Fukuda, in a hastily arranged news conference Monday evening, said he was stepping down to avoid a "political vacuum" at the head of the world's second-largest economy." 09-08
- -09-02-08 Mental Health Issues Surface on Pakistan's Likely Leader (Newsweek.com)
"If Pakistan's upcoming election goes as expected, Asif Ali Zardari, widower of assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto, will succeed Pervez Musharraf as the country's next president, giving Zardari at least partial sway over the Muslim country's nuclear arsenal. Concerns spiked last week with the disclosure of medical records indicating that as recently as last year, doctors hired by Zardari had diagnosed him with mental problems including dementia, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. While Zardari's spokespeople say he has been cured, multiple U.S. officials, among them Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told NEWSWEEK that word of Zardari's mental-health history took them by surprise." 09-08
- -09-06-08 Bhutto's Widower Is Elected Pakistan's President (MSNBC News)
"The widower of slain former leader Benazir Bhutto will succeed Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan after winning a landslide election victory Saturday." Visitors sometimes misspell as Packistan, Pakestan, or Packestan. 09-08
- -11-05-08 World Reacts to Obama's Victory (USA Today)
"From Beijing's streets to France's Elysee Palace, common citizens and leaders of the world greeted Barack Obama's election largely as a sign of hope that America would mend torn international relations and lead the way out of global economic turmoil." 11-08
- -11-21-20 Mideast Conflict and Obama (U.S. News)
"It would be hard to blame incoming President Barack Obama if he took one look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and decided it wasn't for him. After all, the main thing President George W. Bush has to show for eight years of on-and-off Mideast peacemaking is Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip—the result of the administration's insistence on Gazan elections and subsequent instigation of a failed coup attempt against the elected Islamist rulers."
"The most urgent front is Gaza, where a five-month cease-fire between Israel and the Strip's Islamic militant groups broke down on U.S. Election Day as the two sides resumed fire—with Gaza, as usual, getting much the worse of the exchange. The Egyptian-brokered cease-fire runs out December 19, and it's not clear whether there will be anything left by then to renew." 11-08
- -12-01-08 A Pirate's View on How Piracy Started (CNN News)
"Boyah said that the piracy began because traditional coastal fishing became difficult after foreign fishing trawlers depleted local fish stocks. Traditional fishermen started attacking the trawlers until the trawler crews fought back with heavy weapons. The fishermen then turned to softer targets." 12-08
- -12-09-08 Worst Riots in Decades in Greece (CBS News)
"Riot police fought running battles with mourners Tuesday after the funeral of a teenager whose shooting by officers triggered Greece's worst rioting in decades." 12-08
- -Finding the World's Happiest Places (CNN News)
"It may take a lot of frequent-flier miles, a penchant for cold places, a tolerance of taxes and regular doses of chocolate, but happiness could be within reach. However, it's not where most people might expect." 02-08
- -World's Largest Companies (ABC News)
"In total, the global 2000 companies now account for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value. Around the world, 72 million people work for these companies." 04-08
- -Worst Food Crisis in a Generation (MSNBC News)
"The globe's worst food crisis in a generation emerged as a blip on the big boards and computer screens of America's great grain exchanges. At first, it seemed like little more than a bout of bad weather." 04-08
- Commentary on China: Don't Bash China (CNN News - Savitt)
"I am not opposed to free speech and legitimate protests against China's wrongdoings. However, I am opposed to using the Olympics to demonize China and its people and disruptive, confrontational, and violent tactics. Such actions have the effect of desecrating the Olympics and humiliating and insulting the people of China. No good can come of them." 03-08
- Commentary on China: Why We Protest China (CNN News - Savitt)
"The Olympics are an appropriate forum for political gestures; I would argue, in fact, that the Olympics are a necessary forum for political speech." 03-08
- -Former British Prime Minister Focuses on Faith (Time.com)
"In two long conversations with Blair recently, I explored his conviction that religion matters—that it shapes what people believe and how they behave, that it is vital to understanding our world, that it can be used to improve the lot of humankind. But if not engaged seriously, Blair thinks, faith can be used to induce ignorance, fear and a withdrawal of communities into mutually antagonistic spheres at just the time that globalization is breaking down barriers between peoples and nations. 'Faith is part of our future,' Blair says, 'and faith and the values it brings with it are an essential part of making globalization work.' For Blair, the goal is to rescue faith from the twin challenges of irrelevance—the idea that religion is no more than an interesting aspect of history—and extremism. Blair and those working with him think religion is key to the global agenda. 'You can't hope to understand what's happening in the world if you don't know that religion is a very important force in people's lives,' says Ruth Turner, 37, formerly a top aide to Blair in 10 Downing Street, who will head the foundation. 'You can't make the world work properly unless you understand that, while not everyone will believe in God or have a spiritual life, a lot of people will.' Blair, she says, has been thinking about these issues 'for decades and decades and decades.' Over time, says Blair of the foundation's work, 'this is how I want to spend the rest of my life.' " 05-08