New Burma Road: Watch for the geopolitical landmines

New Burma Road: Watch for the geopolitical landmines

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — With the historic visit of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Burma, the highest profile American diplomatic contact in fifty years, the United States has entered a high stakes geopolitical chess game in Southeast Asia. Burma, a political pariah state has long been courted by China, coveted by India, […]

Not satire: Putin wins ‘Confucius Peace Prize’ for Chechen War

Not satire: Putin wins ‘Confucius Peace Prize’ for Chechen War

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — George Orwell would have laughed at the very notion. Russian Premier Vladimir Putin has won a curiously-awarded Peace Prize for his military attack on Chechnya in 1999, and his “iron hand and toughness” in dealing with separatists near and far, the old fashioned way. For his bellicose actions, Putin […]

Miserable? UN suggests Norway, Australia, Netherlands in that order

Miserable? UN suggests Norway, Australia, Netherlands in that order

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States are among the best places to live according to the Human Development Report 2011, the UN’s annual rankings of states based on health, wealth, education and gender rights. Rounding out the top ten include New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Germany […]

North Korean priorities: Neutrons over nutrition

North Korean priorities: Neutrons over nutrition

UNITED NATIONS — There’s rarely good news from North Korea. The quaintly-titled Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is facing a worsening humanitarian crisis, while at the same time the government is heightening political repression, and the communist rulers are vaingloriously pursuing their nuclear weapons program. Valerie Amos, the UN’s Humanitarian chief just returned from […]

Euro currency — bridge to nowhere?

Euro currency — bridge to nowhere?

By John Metzler PARIS — The albatross of the debt crisis continues to dominate headlines throughout the European Union and indeed the United States. While whopping budget deficits and massive social service obligations serve as a millstone to European economic recovery, many economists are nervously looking to the long term stability of the Euro currency […]

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