Europe

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China seeks ‘new chapter’ with resource-rich Zimbabwe: Different leader, same access

China seeks ‘new chapter’ with resource-rich Zimbabwe: Different leader, same access

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The setting was all about renewing an old friendship between a political pariah and the People’s Republic of China, its longtime patron. So in his first state visit outside of the African continent, Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa visited China to reaffirm and re-enforce the close political and […]

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‘Family-friendly’ Hungary favors baby boom to stop demographic decline

‘Family-friendly’ Hungary favors baby boom to stop demographic decline

  By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — “Migration is not the solution to demographic problems,” warned Katalin Novak, Hungary’s Minister of State for the Family. Though conceding the European continent faces a significant “demographic decline” and the undertow of a falling population, individual states can counter the “inevitability” through focused family friendly policies such […]

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Stubbing our toe on steel tariffs?

Stubbing our toe on steel tariffs?

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Tariffs are in a sense like other taxes; easy to impose, hard to roll back, and usually employed for the “greater good.” Thus triggering tariffs creates a feel good solution, a political sugar rush, but often later a bitter backlash to those ordering them. I feel that the […]

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The siege in Ghouta: Between the hammer and ‘Hell on earth’

The siege in Ghouta:  Between the hammer and ‘Hell on earth’

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Artillery fire and indiscriminate air strikes pound and batter the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. Civilians, mostly children, are being killed and maimed. The Security Council wrings its hands in pleading for a humanitarian respite in a ongoing horror. And the world community politely averts its eyes from the […]

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‘Free but fair trade’: NAFTA, China and the India success story

‘Free but fair trade’: NAFTA, China and the India success story

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Back in Ronald Reagan’s time, the underlining philosophical mantra of the extraordinary economic expansion was that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Namely, as entrepreneurialism and enterprise were encouraged, the results would create the rising tide of progress. But later, in the early 1990’s slowdown, President Bill Clinton […]

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U.S. support needed in Mali, a nexus for Sahel terror and people smuggling

U.S. support needed in Mali, a nexus for Sahel terror and people smuggling

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The landlocked West African state of Mali remains a critical crossroads for both international people smuggling and a nexus of radical Islamic terrorism in the Sahel, the vast arid region on the southern reaches of the Sahara desert. Here amid ancient caravan routes, porous borders, and weak governance, […]

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Iran’s smoldering fuse in 1979 and again in 2018

Iran’s smoldering fuse in 1979 and again in 2018

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Surging crowds thronged the streets of Tehran and cities across Iran screaming Death to the Shah, Death to America. A situation brewing for a few years reached its boiling point with the return of an obscure Ayatollah from exile. The old order collapsed as the mob triumphed, the […]

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‘Red alert’: A world of hope and challenges in 2018

‘Red alert’: A world of hope and challenges in 2018

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Consulting my crystal snow globe reveals a blizzard of events, many of them unpredictable which await us in the New Year. And after 2017’s roller coaster and often bizarre political events, it’s difficult to believe that 2018 may hold many unexpected surprises. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres implored, […]

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‘The United States will remember this day’: A closer look at the UN Assembly Jerusalem vote

‘The United States will remember this day’: A closer look at the UN Assembly Jerusalem vote

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The USA and Israel suffered a nasty diplomatic slap when the 193 member UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the Trump Administration’s plan to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. But while the mainstream media and the usual chorus of critics presented this lopsided vote (128-9-35) as […]

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Global bodies are rhetorically bled dry, but North Korea prevails

Global bodies are rhetorically bled dry, but North Korea prevails

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A riveting Security Council session condemned North Korea for its Nuclear proliferation and illegal ballistic missile firings. The meeting at the Ministerial level saw Foreign Ministers and delegates nearly universally condemn Pyongyang’s provocative actions which have brought the world to the brink of conflict. Now what? UN Secretary […]