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Desecration of cultural sites at Timbuktu: Does France care? The world?

Islamic groups destroyed Timbuktu shrines.  /ABC News

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The name Timbuktu conjures up mystery and the magic of a far off place seemingly untouched by modernity, lest alone violence. But the ancient city of Timbuktu, lost in the remote reaches of the Sahara has sadly been thrust into the headlines as an Islamic fundamentalist group has been [...]

July 5th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,France,John Metzler,Mali,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Hot air about the Falkland Islands reaches the UN

Margaret Thatcher in 1983.

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The Falkland Island Road Show has come to the United Nations, with all the political trappings of drama, hyper-nationalism, and self-righteous moralizing. The focus remains on the future of this windswept British territory in the South Atlantic claimed by, and also once invaded by, neighboring Argentina. Now thirty years [...]

June 20th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Americas,Argentina,Columnists,COMMENTARY,England,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Moscow outmaneuvers U.S. diplomats at UN with Serbia win

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic.

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Shadows of the Cold War returned to the UN during the recent elections for President of the General Assembly where a previously agreed to candidate from Lithuania was challenged, and subsequently defeated, by a Russian-backed contender from Serbia. What was originally expected to be a consensus vote selecting a [...]

June 13th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Lithuania,Russia,Serbia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Politics,United Nations | Read More »

Global censorship report reminds that much of the world is in the dark

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, 2nd right, is shown in undated picture released by the North's KCNA news agency in Pyongyang May 9.  /Reuters

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — When it comes to media censorship we think of the usual pantheon of dictators and autocrats who unashamedly shut down news outlets, stifle the free flow of information, and throw journalists in jail. And it’s in countries like North Korea, Cuba, and Islamic Republic of Iran where print and [...]

May 30th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Cuba,Eritrea,Exclusives,Iran,John Metzler,Mideast,NE Asia,North Korea,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

As West falters, Asia Pacific region emerging as new global economic engine

The Korean stock index is reflected on glass at the Korea Exchange in Seoul.  /AFP

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Despite the persistent economic headwinds which are expected to slow economic expansion this year, “growth in the Asia and the Pacific area remains better than in any other region; continuing as an anchor of stability and a new growth pole for the world economy.” That’s the guardedly optimistic prognosis [...]

May 16th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,Japan,John Metzler,Life,NE Asia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,United Nations | Read More »

Terror in France and the chilling prospect of sleeper cells also in the USA

Masked French special unit policemen (RAID) leave the scene on their way back to the Perignon barracks after the assault to capture gunman Mohamed Merah during a raid on a five-storey building to arrest a suspect in the killings of three children and a rabbi on Monday at a Jewish school in Toulouse on March 22.  /Pascal Parrot/Reuters

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A spate of seven seemingly unexplained serial killings has shocked France with the uncomfortable realization that the specter of terrorism has not vanished. But the shootings of three soldiers and later, the calculated cold- blooded rampage at a Jewish school killing a rabbi and three children, turned the tragedy [...]

March 22nd, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Top Stories,United Nations,World Links | Read More »

Falklands redux: Where there’s oil, Hugo Chavez and Sean Penn, will there be fire?

Actor Sean Penn, seen here with Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, is taking Argentina's side in the Falkland Islands dispute.  /AP

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Rhetorical gales from Argentina are again battering the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. And while the presumably noble sentiments of Argentine sovereignty blows over the windswept islands, just under the adjacent waters may sit massive petroleum deposits which would change the geopolitical calculations both for Britain and Argentina. [...]

February 15th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Americas,Columnists,COMMENTARY,England,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Humility deficit in the corridors of shakedown science

"Everybody talks about the weather,” Mark Twain said, “but nobody does anything about it.”

Wesley Pruden “Climate research,” the New York Times confidently assures us, “stands at a crossroads.” This means that a lot of research scientists are standing at the crossroads, holding out paper bags like trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, standing in line for taxpayer largesse to fill ‘em up. These specialists in shakedown “science,” who speak only [...]

December 28th, 2011 | Posted in Columnists,Life,United Nations,Wesley Pruden | Read More »

Vaclav Havel: The passing of a Renaissance man

People light candles at Wenceslas Square in Prague on Sunday, following the death of former Czech president and Velvet Revolution icon Vaclav Havel.  /AFP/Michal Cizek

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Author, playwright, and former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel has died at age 75. Havel, as literary figure and a political dissident, confronted the tyranny of the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and oversaw the country’s peaceful transition to democracy and a free market economy. Havel was a [...]

December 21st, 2011 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

N.Y. Times: ‘Modest’ global tax is cool with almost everyone except U.S. taxpayers

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France greeting Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Dec. 5.  /Ian Langsdon/European Pressphoto Agency

Special to Based on an article by Cliff Kincaid for Accuracy in Media A New York Times story about a “modest” global tax mentions some of those supporting the idea but forgets an important one — the United Nations. At a Nov. 30 U.N.-sponsored conference in Washington, D.C., officials of the U.N. Development Program [...]

December 9th, 2011 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Germany,Life,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Culture,U.S. Economy,U.S. Politics,United Nations,World Links | Read More »

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