Pyongyang poker: N. Korea ups the ante with the U.S., Japan, S. Korea and China

Pyongyang poker: N. Korea ups the ante with the U.S., Japan, S. Korea and China

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Shortly after the Security Council unanimously condemned the recent North Korean missile launch and demanded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea abandon nuclear testing, Pyongyang’s rulers decided to up the political ante. They announced that they are on the verge of a third nuclear test and for good […]

Addressing global terrorism on a day when it was everywhere

Addressing global terrorism on a day when it was everywhere

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The Hydra-headed challenge of global terrorism continues as the multi-faceted threat changes and mutates in response to increasingly effective counter-measures. Few countries have been in the cross hairs of violence as has been Pakistan, so it should come as no surprise that in the Security Council’s urgent meeting to […]

Terror crisis in Mali, desecration in Timbuktu and the suppression of millions: World shrugs

Terror crisis in Mali, desecration in Timbuktu and the suppression of millions: World shrugs

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Regions of a vast landlocked country, remote but strategic, has fallen under the control of Al Qaida terrorists and fundamentalist forces. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled a regime which persecutes women, imposes stringent Sharia law, and desecrates and destroys ancient towns and even mosques. The outside world […]

UN report predicts likely global economic downturn in 2013

UN report predicts likely global economic downturn in 2013

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The global economy risks sliding back into recession.  That’s the sober assessment from the UN’s World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013, which cites weak economic growth in 2012, and an anemic expected expansion over the next two years.  And while economic woes in the United States, Europe and Japan […]

Remembering Vaclav Havel who inspired freedom fighters from E. Europe to N. Korea, China

Remembering Vaclav Havel who inspired freedom fighters from E. Europe to N. Korea, China

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — One year ago the renowned author, playwright, and former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel died at age 75. In tribute to this extraordinary European Renaissance Man, I’m reissuing my column in the spirit of memory and the season. “Havel’s career as literary figure, intellectual and a political […]

Europe gets the prize: Sixty years of peace, if not prosperity

Europe gets the prize: Sixty years of peace, if not prosperity

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The European Union, the concert of 27 countries ranging from the Bay of Biscay to the Baltics and the Balkans has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Some may smile, others may smirk, and many, when they think about it for a second time, may say […]

With policies in flux among world powers, N. Korea again threatens to go ballistic

With policies in flux among world powers, N. Korea again threatens to go ballistic

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The impending launch of a North Korean ballistic missile has as much to do with the propaganda goal of putting a satellite into orbit as to serve as a less than subtle bullying to neighboring states all undergoing a period of political transition. Though Pyongyang has forewarned regional governments […]

Named but not shamed: UN Rights Committee cites abuses in Syria, Iran and N. Korea

Named but not shamed: UN Rights Committee cites abuses in Syria, Iran and N. Korea

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Tis’ the season in the General Assembly for some serious if generally overlooked work and reports. An Assembly committee has soundly condemned the continuing human and political rights abuses in three global transgressors; Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the quaintly titled Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, aka […]

Venezuela gains seat on UN Human Rights Council: ‘Neither the U.S. nor the EU said a word’

Venezuela gains seat on UN Human Rights Council: ‘Neither the U.S. nor the EU said a word’

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — First, the good news. The United States has been re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council along with Germany and Ireland. So too have been South Korea and Japan. Now fasten your seat belts for the rest of the eighteen new selections to the 47 member Geneva-based Council which […]

U.S. global competitiveness ranking: From 1 to 7th since 2007

U.S. global competitiveness ranking: From 1 to 7th since 2007

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — As the seemingly interminable election campaign nears the finish line, there are a few glaringly missing topics which remain almost untouched. The first deals with an issue affecting nearly everyone and the other one which may determine America’s future scientific prowess and potential. Gasoline prices. Here we have record […]