The views expressed by the authors in the Commentary section are not those of Reuters News.
“South Africa’s Zuma is out” was the Washington Post’s headline on Thursday morning. “Will things actually get better?” The question signifies more than journalistic skepticism. It points to a shift in the liberal worldview.
Back in 2014, in statements by its leadership and in government media outlets, Beijing began to express its desire for a “new type of Great Power relations” with Washington. This bold, if vaguely-defined, ambition was among the first indications that China was beginning to re-conceive its global role. The phrase was clunky, and China finally dropped it with little fanfare. Nevertheless, a new kind of U.S.-China relationship has indeed begun to emerge.
In its five months in Syria last year, a single U.S. Marine Corps artillery battalion fired more shells than any equivalent American military unit since Vietnam.
It was always obvious that Donald Trump would never be able to keep his promise – made both as candidate and president – that he would bring coal jobs back to battered mining communities.
American foreign policy currently stands at a crossroads. There are two possible paths forward: withdrawal from the world as a result of the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the international affairs budget, or a reassertion of America’s indispensable global role led by a capable, modern State Department and an empowered, adequately-funded U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
In China, women calling themselves the “silence breakers” have demanded investigations into allegations of sexual harassment. In doing so, they pit themselves against a macho culture, a Communist Party deeply allergic to independent citizens’ initiatives, and an exaggerated and assiduously-cultivated respect for hierarchies, themselves male-dominated.
Mexico has long been a good neighbor to the United States, and in more recent years a good ally – which is why it’s more than a little absurd that a false narrative about our relationship with Mexico contributed to shutting down the federal government last month, and threatened to do so again this week.
The woman from North Korea was following the standard party line. “All Koreans all over the world dream of and are working towards unification,” she told me as we chatted in Pyongyang three years ago. “Actually, I hate to tell you this,” I cautiously replied, “but I’ve spent some time in the Village Down There,” borrowing a euphemism Northerners use for South Korea. “Young people have largely lost interest in unification. They see the Koreas as two separate countries and don’t think it’s necessary to rejoin.”
The successful launch of entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy on Tuesday marks a major turning point in humanity’s approach to space exploration. For the first time since the United States and Soviet Union began their race into orbit, the world’s most powerful rocket was designed and built by a private corporation.
Unless something miraculous happens, the city of Cape Town, an iconic international tourism destination and South Africa’s second economic hub, will run out of drinking water in a matter of weeks.
It’s puzzling that President Vladimir Putin of Russia is held in high regard by democratic leaders of every shade of politics. Alex Salmond, the nationalist former first minister of Scotland – who called for the impeachment of Britain’s Tony Blair for crimes against humanity in Iraq – regards Putin as having restored Russian national pride. Gerhard Schroeder, former Social Democrat chancellor of Germany, celebrated his 70th birthday with the Russian president at a costly banquet in St Petersburg in April 2014.
Poland’s Senate has passed a bill establishing prison terms for anyone who besmirches the nation’s good name by using the phrase “Polish Concentration Camp,” or suggests that Poles were culpable during the Holocaust. The plan has blown up like an exploding cigar.
For the past 20 years, Israelis and Palestinians alike have approached peace negotiations with the flawed assumption that, in order to reach an agreement, all core issues must be solved simultaneously. As the conflict continues to claim victims on both sides, it’s important to point out that when President Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, was looking for an early success in the new administration’s peace efforts, he found it - in water.
“Darkest Hour,” the film portraying Winston Churchill as he takes the helm in a country teetering on the edge of submission to Nazi Germany, has been nominated for six Oscars, including for best leading actor and picture. The movie plays to a deep national sentiment that Britain can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, portraying the ignominious evacuation of British forces at Dunkirk in 1940 as a triumph. In fact, the real takeaway is precisely the opposite.
Around the world countries are working overtime to get an economic edge by striking new trade deals. The United States, meanwhile, sits on the sidelines. President Donald Trump’s protectionist approach and laser-focus on China may have played well on the stump, but it will leave the American workers who ushered him into office at a disadvantage.
Last August, a Russian tanker sailed direct from Norway to South Korea through the Arctic Ocean, the first time such a ship had done so without an icebreaker escort. It was a defining moment in the opening up of previously frozen northern trade routes – and it looks to have supercharged an already intensifying arms race and jostle for influence on the roof of the world.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over Islamic State on Dec. 9, 2017. And while there will still be some fighting, the real war is over. Yet there were no parades, no statues pulled down, no "Mission Accomplished" moments. An event that might a few years ago have set American front pages atwitter wasn't even worth a presidential tweet.
“When people are forgotten the world becomes fractured,” President Donald Trump observed to the Davos forum in his breathlessly-awaited speech Friday. That he himself was the fracturer-in-chief must have entered the minds of more than a few in the crowded hall.
As recently as 2013, the phrase “self-driving car” was nowhere to be found in documents published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Oh, what a difference half a decade makes.
The tens of millions of fans of the HBO mythical series Game of Thrones boil with frustration. They long to know what happens next in the ancient mountain kingdoms of Westeros where kings and queens and power-mad challengers betray and murder each other with satisfying consistency. HBO is keeping fans in suspense until 2019, so I am happy to bring news of comparable real-life dramas that will assuredly start at the end of this month in peaks as snowed and menacing as the Westeros Frostfangs.