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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 [...]

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Obama is reversing Reagan’s Cold War victory, inviting new hot wars

Speaking at Berlin's Brandenberg Gate in October 1987, President Ronald Reagan called for Soviet leader Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."

Jeffrey T. Kuhner President Obama is on the verge of an historic triumph. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the American Left has been bitter about America’s victory in the Cold War. For decades, they preached moral equivalence between the United States and the Soviet Union. In their view, America was to blame for [...]

Posted in BB Columnists,Columnists,Croatia,Estonia,Exclusives,Georgia,Jeffrey Kuhner,Libya,Life,Lithuania,Recent Hits,Russia,Stateside,Syria,Terrorism,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Media,U.S. Military,U.S. Politics,Ukraine,Washington | 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 [...]

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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 By Donald Kirk, 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 [...]

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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 By Donald Kirk, 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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Flights from hell were better than the one without an end

David Dyson

Special to By Donald Kirk, 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 »

Recalling Reagan’s scorned warnings against dangers of dependency on Russian energy

Pipeline passing through Ukrainian territory.  /Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A deteriorating and dangerous diplomatic showdown continues over Ukraine as the United States and European Union rhetorically push back against Vladimir Putin’s power grab in the Crimea. In an emergency Security Council meeting, Ukraine’s embattled Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk made an impassioned plea for his country’s sovereign right “to [...]

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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 By Donald Kirk, 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 [...]

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