East Asia

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Looking ahead to 2019: The bumpy road ahead

Looking ahead to 2019: The bumpy road ahead

By John J. Metzler New York — It’s that time of the year again to consult the crystal snow globe and look ahead at what global political crises we may face in the upcoming year. After a tumultuous 2018, it would be nice to have a respite from the political jolts, lurches and surprises of […]

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40 years after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, a transformed China eyes world stage

40 years after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, a transformed China eyes world stage

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Beijing held a big party to celebrate the Economic Reform process starting forty years ago which changed China and the world. Amid the meticulous staging in the cavernous Great Hall of the People, China’s supreme leader Xi Jinping addressed the party faithful to a backdrop […]

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George H W Bush: Grace, gravitas, grit through tumultuous times

George H W Bush: Grace, gravitas, grit through tumultuous times

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — “He showed me what it means to be a President who serves with integrity, leads with courage and acts with love in his heart for the citizens of our country,” intoned former President George W. Bush in an emotional eulogy at his late father’s state funeral. Magisterial commemorations […]

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‘Crimes against humanity’ under Buddhist Burma’s generals and peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi

‘Crimes against humanity’ under Buddhist Burma’s generals and peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Burma’s human rights situation is deteriorating despite consistent pressures by the United States and the wider international community to stem the humanitarian crisis. In a rare address before the Security Council, Marzuki Darusman, human rights Rapporteur for Burma, aka Myanmar, presented a report which details “massive human rights […]

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‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a riveting election for new members of the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly voted for 18 new members. Yet, given that all prospective candidates were unopposed, the perfunctory ballot simply selected a list of states where everyone won, including some notorious human rights […]

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‘Man-made crisis’: Venezuelan hell destabilizes region

‘Man-made crisis’: Venezuelan hell destabilizes region

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — It didn’t have to be this way. An oil rich, economically prosperous middle class country, once a stable Latin American democracy, is disintegrating into a socialist dystopia plagued by hunger, corruption, hyper-inflation and churning political unrest. While petroleum remains Venezuela’s major export, now tragically it’s […]

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UN speeches in review: Moralizing, demonizing and occasional common sense

UN speeches in review: Moralizing, demonizing and occasional common sense

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a week of speeches which swirled from the sublime to the ridiculous or were simply just boring, the recent UN General Assembly debate reached some notable exceptions. Among the sonorous drone of 193 addresses, either restating the obvious or repeating by rote the contemporary global mantra of […]

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UN session opening contrasts with last year’s N. Korean crisis

UN session opening contrasts with last year’s N. Korean crisis

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings and Potentates have converged in New York for the 73rd UN General Assembly. The annual rite of Autumn brings together world leaders from 193 member states to discuss and hopefully try to solve key global crises ranging from the wars in Syria and Yemen, […]

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UN peacekeeping; vital but tarnished tool

UN peacekeeping; vital but tarnished tool

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — One of the UN’s most vital, unsung, but necessary operations concerns its global peacekeeping missions. For more than sixty years, the UN “Blue helmets” have seen service from the Sinai to Cyprus and the Congo. In 1988, UN Peacekeeping won the Nobel Peace Prize. But in recent years […]

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World turns blind eye to ‘world’s worst humanitarian’ crisis in China-backed Burma

World turns blind eye to ‘world’s worst humanitarian’ crisis in China-backed Burma

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A “climate of fear and persecution” face Burma’s minority Rohingya population as a year of unrelenting human rights abuses and forced expulsions continue by the country’s Beijing-backed military rulers. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told a stunned Security Council meeting, “The massive refugee emergency that began one […]

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