Why everyone gets North Korea dangerously wrong.
Kim Jong-un did us a small favor by appointing an economic reformer to the country’s premiership on April 1, right in the middle of the Great Saber Rattle. We have thus been spared the naive op-ed pieces—welcoming the positive “trend,” calling on Washington to reward it, etc.—that would have ensued had Pak Pong-ju’s appointment come during a lull in tensions. Of course, Pyongyang watchers will find another reason for optimism soon enough. They began predicting great change about five years ago, when it became known that Kim Jong-un had lived in Switzerland.
The most important man in Pakistan.
It’s a difficult task, and many fear that Fakhruddin Ghulam Ebrahim, Pakistan’s chief election commissioner since July, may not be the right man for it. Given his age—he’s 85—and the activist Supreme Court’s deep involvement in the election process, can Ebrahim ensure that his country’s first-ever transition from one fully civilian elected government to another takes place smoothly? Elections for the national and four provincial assemblies are scheduled for May 11.
A ‘bail-in’ saved Cyprus. But dark days are ahead.
The political elites in Brussels can once again breathe a sigh of relief. Cyprus did not implode and take the euro with it. In many ways, the latest drama in Cyprus followed a familiar pattern: the so-called troika of European leadership (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) flew to a country on Europe’s periphery to rescue its failing banks, that country’s leadership balked, and then eventually caved to Brussels’s demands.
The global importance of emotions and health.
Here’s something to smile about: researchers have known for a while that there’s a connection between emotions and health. People with positive emotions tend to report being healthier—they even live longer—and those with negative emotions report being less healthy. But a limitation of this research was that it was focused on people in the developed world, leaving one team of researchers to wonder if the connection between emotions and health was just a “First World problem.
A new Amanda Knox trial means mixed emotions for the victim’s mother.
Arline Kercher —the mother of Meredith Kercher, whose 2007 killing in Italy led to the conviction, then acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito—will soon find herself forced to relive her daughter’s death yet again. That’s because, last month, the highest court in Italy overturned the duo’s acquittal, setting the stage for still more trials in the case. “It is always distressing to hear and read about the murder,” Arline told me by phone from England, where she lives.
Frustrated by corrupt and plodding government courts, Afghans are turning to Islamic judges.
When Wali Khan returned to Afghanistan in 2008, having spent his entire life in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan, his first order of business was to build a house on his late father’s patch of land in eastern Paktia province. But when he tried to reclaim the other 70 acres he believed to be his, he ran into big trouble. A powerful tribal family warned Khan and his four uncles not to touch the land that they claimed was theirs. “The whole village was threatening us with death,” Khan says, adding that the Ahmedzais are “strong, rich, and influential.
Water Wars There’s nothing quite like water. There’s no life without it and there’s no substitute for it. But as Brahma Chellaney reports in his new book, Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis, by the 2020s some two thirds of the world’s population will face problems getting enough of the stuff. In the United States and other highly developed countries, the battles over water pit those who want rapid economic development against those who insist on conservation.
These aren’t yes men. Francis has assembled an advisory team hell-bent on fixing the church. Barbie Latza Nadeau on why some Vatican officials are polishing up their résumés.
On the one-month anniversary of his election, Pope Francis appointed a diverse advisory group from around the world to help him cure all that ails the Catholic Church. But will heads roll, or is this just a game of holy smokes and mirrors?The group of eight cardinals named by Francis represents all seven continents, sending a blaring message that the focus of the universal church may soon diverge from the myopic views from within the Roman Curia.
In a city where borders mean everything, one stubborn man has made it his mission to record and warn others about changes to the city.
"The quip in Hebrew is ‘everyone pisses in the swimming pool. Not everyone does it from the diving board.’ What we’ve been watching in the last year is an unprecedented surge in settlement activities.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has been pissing from the high board, and what we hear from D.C. is, ‘hey, there is a light rain.’”Daniel Seidemann is not a man who trades in verbal niceties. An attorney by trade, American by birth, Israeli by choice, and director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, the NGO he founded, Seidemann has spent the last 20-odd years understanding, anticipating, and cautioning others about the ever-changing map of this burning city.
Suicide in France
Historian Kills Himself at Notre Dame
After anti–gay marriage rant.More
Bin Laden Photos Won’t Be Released
In a unanimous ruling.More
COME ON NOW
Gay Marriage Bill Splits Parliament
Cameron faces Tory rebellion.More
North Koreans Seized Chinese Boat
While Pyongyang fires off sixth missile in three days.More
Syrian Troops Take Rebel Stronghold
With the help of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.More
Hot air balloons collided in mid-air over Cappadocia, Turkey on Monday morning, a fatal accident during the common tourist activity. A Brazilian man was killed, and 24 more were injured.
She is a true inspiration. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai has released a video statement for the first time since being shot by the Taliban last October. 'God has given me this new life,' Malala says, and in return, she is launching the Malala Fund, created to help educate children all over the world.
Because they tend to share his broad outlook on politics, too many journalists for too long have been in the tank for Obama, writes Nick Gillespie.