The enemy isn’t Brussels: it’s Europe. The so-called Islamic State clearly signaled this by attacking, even more than the airport, a metro station. Maelbeek is not just another subway stop in the Belgian capital. Although the symbolism could have been more dramatic if the terrorists had chosen the neighouring station named after Robert Schuman…but perhaps the tighter security there dissuaded them.
At this stage of the process that began in December 2014 with the surprise announcement of the opening of relations between the United States and Cuba, hardly anything counts as spectacular news. The detail in the decision by Washington and Havana that made news in the traditional sense (man bites dog) was that the plan to sit down and talk implied that Cuba gave up its prior demand that the embargo be lifted. The United States, for its part, accepted that Cuba did not undertake to make any special changes to its own political system.
Recovering from a broken femur following a bicycle accident suffered in Switzerland, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry – former senator and former presidential candidate – is anxious to accelerate his convalescence and will visit Cuba on Friday Aug. 14, where he will hoist the Stars and Stripes flag over the emblematic U.S. embassy building in Havana.
The decisive result of the Greek referendum held Jul. 5, in which voters overwhelmingly rejected (61.3 to 38.7 percent) the terms of an international bailout, has opened a new chapter not only for the future of Greece, but also in terms of the essence of the European Union itself.
U.S. President Barack Obama has earned a place in history for taking the first steps towards rectifying a policy that has lasted over half a century without ever achieving its primary goal of ending the Castro regime in Cuba.
The visit to Cuba of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Mar. 23-24, and the forthcoming visit in May planned by French President François Hollande, have fast-tracked the agenda of relations between the European Union and Cuba.
Mexico can charm, irritate, wound, inspire and confuse the casual visitor as well as the informed researcher. But no one is ever left indifferent by it. Mexico leaves an indelible mark.
At last, after the obligatory summer break, the European Union (EU) has some new faces to fill the top vacancies on the team that began to emerge from the May 25 parliamentary elections.
A few decades ago, even before the end of the Cold War and before and after Ronald Reagan’s election to the White House, analyses regularly referred to U.S. decadence. At other times, it was Europe’s turn for pessimistic descriptions, especially when it could not overcome its ambivalence over deepening integration, and above all because of the failure of its constitutional project.
The growing importance of the Pacific rim has been a dominant narrative of recent years. One reason is the entrance of Chinese interests into Latin America and growing economic ties between Asia and the U.S. and Europe. The feverish mythology of globalisation also contributed to advancing this transformational tale. The Pentagon is positioning the bulk of its fleet in Pacific ports as if it expected another Pearl Harbour.
Not in the last three generations has Spain experienced a crisis as total, devastating, and incomprehensible as the current one. Francisco Silvela, a thinker of the late 19th century and president of the Spanish government, said in August 1898 after the country was stripped of its colonies that Spain "had no pulse". To a certain degree, the same is true today, especially of those in the government, despite the cuts. Only the protests contradict this feeling. The rest of the country is simply reeling from the financial crisis.
A year ago the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was greeted with general satisfaction and considerable relief. Was it already possible to glimpse (for example, in the spectacle of the Egyptian leader being judged bedridden in a cage) the difficulties that lay ahead for North Africa and the Middle East fulfilling the promise of the "Arab Spring"?
The official end of the Iraq war is an admission of defeat. It will serve as a bitter reminder of all that everyone loses in wars, victors included. From the foundation of the republic, war has been a constant feature of US history but produced a clear victory only on a few occasions.
The apparently eternal problem of Turkey's entry into the European Union seems even further from resolution. Istanbul, its largest city, is sending mixed signals. The call to prayer from the minarets mixes with the roar of rush hour traffic. The hawking and bargaining in the monumental grand bazaar is thoroughly infiltrated by Western "civilisation".
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) results for the final quarter of 2010 are an unreliable gauge of recovery and progress in Europe, the US, China, Brazil, and most other countries. A new survey by GlobeScan and Ethical Markets, titled "Beyond GDP", reaffirms that large majorities favour reforming the money-based GDP economic yardstick and adopting many of the available indicators of health, education, infrastructure, poverty gaps, and environmental quality found in their 2007 survey for the European Commission (www.beyond-gdp.eu). The new survey was conducted in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Russia, the UK, and the US and released on January 21.