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Neo-Soviet chess: Ukraine checked in drama starring Russian aggressors as victims

Armed Moscow supporters take over police station in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on April 12.  /Efrem Lukatsky/AP

UNITED NATIONS — The fate of Ukraine, one of Eastern Europe’s largest countries, hangs in the balance. On the one hand, ”spontaneous” political demonstrations and government building seizures by pro-Russian separatists, are bringing an air of deliberately planned disorder to the country’s eastern regions bordering Russia. On the other, rhetorical posturing by the United States [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Russia,Top Stories,Ukraine | Read More »

Trilateral this, trilateral that but in Northeast Asia, three’s a crowd

The Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat is in Seoul. Above is the Gangnam section of the South Korean capital.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com SEOUL — The word “trilateral” has a certain allure among those in search of ways to pull disparate nations or regions together. A group of three might cooperate while a group of two might form an alliance and fight the third one, the odd man out. Rather than [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Syria hell: Fear and famine stalk a war-ravaged land

Hell: Food lines in February in Damascus await assistance by the UN’s Relief and Works Agency.   Daily Telegraph

UNITED NATIONS — Syria’s harrowing civil war has taken a new turn as the beleaguered Mid East country now faces a deepening drought and food crisis in the midst of an expanding conflict. UN relief agencies warn that the drought may cut food production thus adding to the country’s woes. With over nine million Syrian [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Mideast,Recent Hits,Syria,Top Stories | Read More »

New York’s World’s Fair remembered, 50 years later

New York’s World Fair in 1964.

John J. Metzler NEW YORK — Fifty years ago, the World’s Fair opened in New York. The Fair, a grand expo of technology, commerce, and cultures, was held in at a time when America’s fortunes were riding high in the post-war era. Now every time I pass the great Unisphere Globe, build by U.S. Steel [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Culture | Read More »

In quest of the perfect insult: Fun and games for N. Korean linguists

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and German Chancellor Angela Merke in Berlin on March 26. Parallels between German and Korean unification is not an amusing prospect for N. Korean propagandists. /Yonhap

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com The people who write for the Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang must be having fun. How else can you account for some of the great turns of phrase that show up in the English-language versions of their harangues? It wasn’t enough that the KCNA quoted an otherwise [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

100 countries at UN rebuff Russia on Crimea; See below who backed Moscow

A monitor displayed the vote in the General Assembly on March 27. [CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM] / NPR

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a resounding rebuff to Russia, the UN General Assembly has reaffirmed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and has characterized the recent referendum which incorporated the Crimean peninsula into Russia as “invalid.” While President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty joining Crimea with Russia, the Kiev government has committed itself never to [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Columnists,BB Top Story,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Recent Hits,Russia,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Oliver Stone and anti-U.S. priest agree: Military base would be a curse on lovely Jeju island

Oliver Stone at Jeju International Airport on Aug. 2, 2013.

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – The protest against building a South Korean navy base off the shore of a pleasant village on the southern coast of this “island of peace” by now seems a little tiresome. No way will the hardy band led by priests and pastors stop [...]

Posted in China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,South Korea,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

Afghan countdown: As April elections near, only Karzai opposes U.S. security agreement

UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš at the UN Security Council on March 17.

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The clock is ticking and the calendar counting down for Afghanistan as the embattled South Asian country heads for presidential elections in April and the pullout of foreign security forces by the end of the year. A credible electoral process would go a long way in paving a peaceful [...]

Posted in Afghanistan,BB Columnists,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Mideast,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military,United Nations | Read More »

Flights from hell were better than the one without an end

David Dyson

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines 777 confronts the world with a crisis that’s never going to end. The loss of 239 people is tragic enough, but the implications for air travel are still more frightening. The point, which nobody had believed was possible, is that a plane can [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,Malaysia,NE Asia,Recent Hits,Top Stories | Read More »

East Asian winners, losers and scam artists — not to mention China

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is sworn in as president of the Philippines.  /Erik De Castro/Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com MANILA  One long-running story forever dominates the front pages here. That’s corruption, bribery and cheating on a mass scale — so massive as to bear comparisons with that in big bully China. The story now is that of a few senators sending special funds to an agency charged [...]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Life,NE Asia,Philippines,Top Stories | Read More »

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