Opinion: Statesmanship in short supply
Today’s politicians seem to be reacting to events rather than leading. Part of the problem is the plethora of high-profile international summits, which make for good photo opportunities but don’t offer any occasion for deeper discussions. The whirlwind trips give them little time to think through strategy and future scenarios, making them more likely to act in terms of political expedience.
Tolerating persecution of Christians destroys lives and free societies
Around the world, but especially in the Middle East, Christians are coming under attack. According to some estimates, more than 80 percent of all religious discrimination is directed against Christians. However, Western politicians remain silent. Failure to address this issue and defend the rights of Christians where they are persecuted will, in the end, destroy Western civilization, freedom and democracy.
North Korea crisis needs low-profile mediation
Though unlikely, a conflict between the United States and North Korea would be disastrous. Some sort of talks to defuse the current crisis are therefore necessary. However, high-profile talks never work, as all sides feel compelled to make a show of strength and take tough stances. Unofficial, low-profile negotiations would work better – and the Vatican could gain the trust of both sides to facilitate such talks.
Endgame in Venezuela
A financial noose is tightening around Venezuela's ruling party. Sovereign default is now imminent and U.S. court judgments have exposed the country's international assets to seizure. Without international mediation, President Nicolas Maduro will have to turn to the military for a potentially bloody crackdown.
A Christian reset for Europe
Pope Francis will celebrate World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland on July 31. It will be a chance for hundreds of thousands of young people to take part in an important, symbolic event. And for a Europe increasingly detached from its Christian roots, it will be a chance to become reacquainted with some core values.
Ethnic strife continues to stymie Myanmar’s economic potential
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has seen decades of ethnic conflict and corrupt military rule stifle its considerable economic prospects. With an advantageous geographic location, abundant natural resources and ample labor force, Myanmar has the ingredients needed to become a regional economic power. A win by pro-democracy groups in last November’s elections offers a...
Chavez surgery poses succession crisis in Venezuela
The health of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez continues to cause uncertainty. Speculation rests on whether he will be fit enough to take office and will his appointed successor, Nicolas Maduro, be up to the task of leading the left-wing regime which Mr Chavez created and has run for 14 years. SEVERE respiratory problems...
French elections: France's new president Francois Hollande vows to redraw EU austerity pact
Francois Hollande's resounding victory heralds the first step towards change for both France and Europe. Mr Hollande, the man who has never held government office, plans to set France on a path to reclaim influence over the direction of Europe. But with change comes uncertainty both for France and for Europe. SOCIALIST Fr...
French presidential election: The politics of illusion - Sarkozy and Hollande
Are the two French presidential frontrunners, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande confronting the real issues of their country as they head, almost neck and neck, towards the first round of France's presidential elections on April 22? It is questionable, writes GIS expert Dr Emmanuel Martin, who examines the pledges of each candidate as the election campaign offi...
Russia presidential election: Putin claims victory
Vladimir Putin has declared victory in Russia's presidential elections after exit polls and preliminary results gave him around 60 per cent of the vote. Mr Putin is returning for a third term as president after spending the last four years as the country's prime minister. But as Mr Putin was addressing thousands of supporters at a rally outside the Kremlin and anno...