Russia

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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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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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Early stages of 2018 World Cup point to soft power win for Moscow

Early stages of 2018 World Cup point to soft power win for Moscow

By John J. Metzler HAMBURG — Witnessing the early stages of the World Cup Football extravaganza offers an amazing sporting experience. Indeed, the enthusiasm is palpable and contagious as the early matches kicked off in a near carnival atmosphere. For a full month, soccer games across Russia will lead to the coveted World Cup to […]

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UN Security Council merry go round

UN Security Council merry go round

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In its annual membership rotation, the UN General Assembly has chosen five new members; Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Dominican Republic and South Africa, who will serve two-year stints on the powerful fifteen-member Security Council. The election, or more properly selection, is based both on geographical and regional representation as […]

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Chemical weapons use in Syria posed challenge to U.S./UN credibility

Chemical weapons use in Syria posed challenge to U.S./UN credibility

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Cold War winds swirled throughout the week at the United Nations where a series of emergency meetings brought the fifteen member Security Council into a dangerously confrontational mode in the aftermath of the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons killing 48. Accusations, allegations, and […]

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The siege in Ghouta: Between the hammer and ‘Hell on earth’

The siege in Ghouta:  Between the hammer and ‘Hell on earth’

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Artillery fire and indiscriminate air strikes pound and batter the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. Civilians, mostly children, are being killed and maimed. The Security Council wrings its hands in pleading for a humanitarian respite in a ongoing horror. And the world community politely averts its eyes from the […]

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‘Red alert’: A world of hope and challenges in 2018

‘Red alert’: A world of hope and challenges in 2018

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Consulting my crystal snow globe reveals a blizzard of events, many of them unpredictable which await us in the New Year. And after 2017’s roller coaster and often bizarre political events, it’s difficult to believe that 2018 may hold many unexpected surprises. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres implored, […]

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Separatist fault line stretches from Spain to Ukraine

Separatist fault line stretches from Spain to Ukraine

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A dangerous and potentially riveting political fault line stretches from Spain across Europe to Ukraine as smoldering separatist movements have gained new strength and standing. From Catalonia in Spain to the eastern regions of Ukraine with Corsica in between, the nationalist rift runs through the European Union to […]

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