Europe

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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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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 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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Syrian endgame threatens new migrant surge

Syrian endgame threatens new migrant surge

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — After seven years of bitter fighting, twelve million civilians displaced, and more than a half million people killed, Syria’s relentless civil war may be coming to a dramatic conclusion. The final showdown seems set for the north-western province of Idlib, a rebel stronghold, where three million civilians are […]

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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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50 years later: Does anyone remember the Czechoslovak crackdown in 1968?

50 years later: Does anyone remember the Czechoslovak crackdown in 1968?

By John J. Metzler BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The light mist on the Danube river and the morning radiance on the honey-hued buildings of the Comenius University greet each summer day with the optimism of a fresh beginning. Yet this is August and the memories of the past still dart among shadows and specters in this […]

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Trump’s unpredictable trade tactics rally Europe as China sit-down awaits

Trump’s unpredictable trade tactics rally Europe as China sit-down awaits

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — With trade and tariff polices shifting like the proverbial weathervane, the Trump Administration has confused and confounded even many close trading partners, Europe, Canada and Japan among them. This may be the Donald’s tactic in his wider strategy of getting fairer trade and better “deals” for American consumers. […]

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Global scorecard for innovation: Switzerland at top, China rising, N. Korea and Cuba unlisted

Global scorecard for innovation: Switzerland at top, China rising, N. Korea and Cuba unlisted

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Not surprisingly the countries leading in Research & Development are among the world’s most successful economies. Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden top the list among the top ten global innovation economies which also include the United Kingdom, Singapore, the United States, Finland, Germany and Ireland. The release of […]

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Transatlantic divide; NATO’s two percent solution

Transatlantic divide; NATO’s two percent solution

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Donald Trump’s rhetorical thunderclap at the start of the NATO Summit sent political reverberations throughout allied capitals and put the pundits into overdrive as to what immeasurable damage the American president had caused while in Brussels. Indeed while chiding European allies on their woeful shortfalls […]

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Europe’s woes are much larger than the Donald

Europe’s woes are much larger than the Donald

By John J. Metzler PARIS — The American mainstream media template, dutifully reflected and jaded by most of the European press, paints a tempestuous picture of the relationship between our European partners and what is presented as a capricious and domineering Trump Administration. Rifts over NATO defense spending, the Iran nuclear deal, and trade and […]

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