In Laos recently, a 10-year-old boy was killed by a buried bomb he and a friend disturbed while playing. While his friend was killed instantly, the boy survived the initial blast. In a video exhibit at Vientiane’s Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE), his parents recount the details of the horrific injuries inflicted by the explosion and their frantic search for a truck to take him to the hospital. Their son survived the long trip to the nearest city and the ride to a second hospital but was denied medical care at
Tag: United States
When the Better Place electric car network idea was launched, the green types were ecstatic. With switchable batteries to extend the range of driving an electric car, which can take normally hours to recharge, Better Place not only introduced a novel way of making electric cars work today, they also said that the cars will be cheaper than traditional ones: with a pricing model more similar to the telecom industry. But new pricing schemes in Denmark raise eyebrows.
Developed by Israelis, Better Place is not an automotive company, but an infrastructure
The pop-top has always gotten a bad rap in the beer world. Like screw tops on wine, it just isn’t a seductive opening. But now, the can is shedding its hillbilly stigma. We asked three experts to share their recent favorites.
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Beer in a can
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The can is actually better packaging for
In President Abraham Lincoln’s famous “Gettysburg Address” in November of 1863, he wound up his short speech by exclaiming that the living be dedicated to and increase their devotion to the “unfinished work” that the brave soldiers died for: that a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth. Almost 150 years later, our country seems still at odds about what that kind of government really means.
Of the people? That could mean the voters electing fellow citizens to office. By the People? Those same voters having a say in what their government does or doesn’t do via their votes or support of a candidate for
The nuclear tragedy currently unfolding in Japan started decades ago on a piece of paper. Before any infrastructure project that size is approved, a risk assessment needs to be done. Hazards are identified and a cost/benefit analysis is made about how to approach those risks.
If constructing in a seismic zone that hasn’t seen an earthquake above a magnitude of M6.5 in 100 years, do you build to withstand a magnitude of 7? Or put in extra the millions upfront to protect against a magnitude of 8 that may never come? Or do you simply choose not to build a nuclear power station in an earthquake zone at all?
Every critical energy installation (and much of all infrastructure) is built on the basis of such risk
Polls show that on the major issues of our time — the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Wall Street bailouts and health insurance — the opinion of We the People has been ignored on a national level for quite some time. While the corporate media repeats the myth that the United States of America is a democracy, Americans, especially Wisonsiners and Ohioans, know that this is a joke.
On March 3, 2011, a Rasmussen Reports poll declared that “Most Wisconsin voters oppose efforts to weaken collective bargaining rights for union workers.” This of course didn’t stop Wisconsin Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislature from passing a bill that — to the delight of America’s ruling class — trashed most collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Similarly in Ohio, legislation to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers is on the verge of being signed into law by Governor Kasich, despite the fact that Public Policy Polling on March 15, 2011 reported that 54 percent of Ohio voters would repeal the law, while 31 percent would keep it.
It is a myth that the United States of America was ever a democracy (most of the famous founder elite such as John Adams equated democracy with mob rule and wanted no part of it). The United States of America was actually created as a republic, in which Americans were supposed to have power through representatives who were supposed to actually represent the American
One afternoon last year, as I was driving through Adliya in the northeastern corner of the island of Bahrain, I was surprised to find a man begging on the side of the street.
Adliya is a nice part of Bahrain – a Western part. Not far from the street I was on was the British Club and a shiny host of high rise apartments, of the sort ex-pats of all stripes live in. I had never seen a beggar in Bahrain, and I certainly wouldn’t have expected one to find his way to
As an American whose entire maternal half of her family tree is of Irish origin, I’m well aware of the ancestral traits that got passed down to me — everything from my love of tea with milk to the “suck it up, Princess” attitude I inherited for coping when things get tough. So it’s not surprising, I suppose, that I’m drawn to topics that illustrate the strong connection that binds the United States and Ireland.
My heritage is at least part of the reason I traced Barack Obama’s roots to Moneygall and was determined to track down the real Annie Moore, the Irish teenager who was the first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island. This time last year, I even felt compelled to share my discovery that self-described “Jewish boy from Brooklyn,” Barry Manilow, is also one-quarter Irish.
Despite the power and allure of nuclear weapons, only nine nations in the world today have nuclear arsenals. Why aren’t there more?
The main reason: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT, which went into force 41 years ago today, has provided strong incentives for nations to give up their nuclear weapons programs – or not pursue them in the first place. Over 30 other nations have the technological ability to make nuclear weapons, but they chose not to do
The proof is all over the news. If I said it once, I’ll say it again: We have the power to change everything.
In the Middle East, where an individual’s power was formerly oppressed, people are now rising up and calling for reform of their governments. Libya, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt. Although not all of these changes are occurring without violence, to a great extent the paths toward change are peacefully
Some sweet irony in the referral of the Gaddafi regime to the International Criminal Court.
As court-watchers well know, longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi long has been a thorn in the ICC’s side.
It’s not just that Libya’s not a party to the Rome Statute that governs the decade-old, Netherlands-based ICC. The same holds true of many of Libya’s Arab neighbors — not to mention a number of very large states east and west, like China, Russia, and the United States.
Rather, Libya’s particularly prickly relation to the ICC stems from Gaddafi’s efforts to exerts his brand of leadership on the African continent.
To cite an example: It’s no accident that, as Pittsburgh Law Professor Charles Jalloh, among others, has noted, the first African Union resolution condemning the ICC’s pursuit of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir occurred at a meeting in Libya. (Bashir remains under ICC indictment on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity related to government attacks on the people of Darfur.)
Libya also is a member of the Human Rights Council, formed in 2006 as a means better to promote human rights within U.N. member states and throughout the world.
The Human Rights Council broke with Libya on
The United States has supported an Afghan-led negotiation process with Taliban insurgents ready to renounce violence, but a new report in the New Yorker provides details on what it says are direct U.S.-Taliban talks already underway since last year. Steve Coll, president of the Washington-based New America Foundation, and author of the article, says U.S. engagement is meant to “create conditions in which a more sustainable — and possibly internationally endorsed — process of negotiating led by the Afghan government, and including players such as the Pakistan government, can take place.” There haven’t been any official statements discussing U.S.-Taliban direct talks. However, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a speech at the Asia Society last week, emphasized the need for reconciliation with Taliban leaders who broke ties with al-Qaeda, renounced violence, and abided by the Afghan
On numerous levels, the United States continues to fall farther behind China in public diplomacy. This is yet another indication that, for all its protestations about its commitment to reach out to foreign publics, the U.S. government is unwilling to commit the resources needed to do so effectively.
Within the U.S. Congress, the most thoughtful and persistent champion of public diplomacy is Senator Richard Lugar, ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations
Crossposted with TheGreenGrok.com.In the words of Alice, “It would be so nice if something made sense.”
Alice, of course, was talking about the strange wonders she encountered after tumbling into the rabbit hole. But you don’t have to fall into a rabbit hole to encounter uncommon nonsense. Following the antics of our Congressmen and Congresswomen while passing a continuing resolution on the budget does quite nicely, thank you.
The House Goes on Record in Favor of Air Pollution
In a 249-to-177 vote, the House approved Amendment 466, proposed by Texas Representative Ted Poe (R), that prohibits funds from being used by the Environmental Protection Agency to implement and enforce any requirements or issue permits for stationary source emissions of six greenhouse gas pollutants [pdf] (i.e., carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons). OK, no surprise there.
The House also forbade expenditures “to develop, promulgate, evaluate, implement, provide oversight to, or backstop total maximum daily loads or watershed implementation plans for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.” I find this to be an elegant solution to the annual dead zone in the Chesapeake
Last month in Lahore, U.S. citizen Raymond Davis shot and killed two armed Pakistani men whom he thought were trying to rob him. U.S. officials claimed that Davis was a diplomatic employee (despite not having a diplomatic visa) and that his detention violated the Geneva
Last month, Bishop Elias Taban, head of the Sudan Evangelical Alliance, wrote an urgent plea to Christians in the West:
The treaty Bishop Taban references is the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which would be the first international agreement to regulate the international sale of weapons. It would close current loopholes that are at the heart of countless stories of violence against women, families forced to become refugees, children made soldiers, and other horrors.
From the Sudan to Kosovo to Burma, from the Somali coast to the Mexican border, the situation is the same: Christians live in terror as well-armed warlords, rival clans and drug smugglers use the threat of violence to control innocent populations. Churches are forced to pull missionaries or limit services as armed conflict engulfs a region. And economic growth is stifled, leaving another generation without options to build a life of dignity and purpose.
In places like these, power is defined by who has the most guns and the most bullets — and the ATT would be a major step to breaking the backbone of this violent
Passover arrived early in Egypt. The modern day Egyptians didn’t wait for a Prince of Egypt to liberate them from President Hosni Mubarak. Who needs Moses when there’s social media? Without plagues or the parting of the Red Sea, Mubarak finally just let his people go.
Actually, weeks after Tahrir Square became the mother of all protest rallies, Mubarak accepted his own exodus out of
Egyptians ousted Mubarak and gave power to the military. The U.S. effectively controls the Egyptian army. It financed it, trained it and should it go into conflict with it, it can easily defeat
One can only hope that the shrill, ideological voices that distort the meaning of the Egyptian revolution will not prevail, for these are the voices that could lead to catastrophe.
Some of these voices claim that the revolution is the leading edge of a radical Muslim attempt to control the Middle East and then the world.
Some have claimed — Glenn Beck is a notable case in point — that the Egyptian revolution is the harbinger of a menacing “one-world government.”
Others claim that the Egyptian revolution will ultimately lead to a massive Muslim attack on Israel, thereby ushering in the final “battle of Armageddon” and the end of this world.
What the ideologues all share in common is this: a fear of the Muslim faith which they routinely seek to distort.
In the final analysis, these kinds of fears and apocalyptic warnings undermine the growth of democracy and the best interests of the United States.
That, of course, is a deep and terrible irony, since from its birth as a nation the United States has always sought to inspire democracy throughout the globe.
The truth is this: the Egyptian revolution is being waged by a vast coalition of Muslims, Christians, secularists, and others. Some are old. Some are young. Some are
China must have the best public relations maestros in the world. How else would a country with a lower per capita income than Iran, Mexico and Kazakhstan, one of the worst environmental records of any major nation, endemic corruption, jails stuffed with dissenters, and a dictatorship, besides, be hailed by so many as the next global superpower?
Certainly China is big — 1.3 billion people big, a fifth of the global population. As Forbes’ columnist John Lee has written, China has long been the place for the world’s biggest anything: the Great Wall, the 2008 Olympics, Tiananmen Square, the South China Mall in Dongguan, dams, consumption of cement and production of automobiles; most recently, China even had the world’s biggest traffic jam — an incredible 60 miles long — which lasted a month and during which drivers were stuck in their cars for days at a time.
The world has never see anything like mega-nations the size of China (or India for that matter), and no one even knows if populations of this magnitude ultimately are sustainable. China’s voracious need to supply its population and avoid the social explosions that have plagued its history has made it one of the world’s largest consumers of natural resources, especially timber and energy, extracted from places like Africa, Southeast Asia and South
Child support is a dangerous subject on a good day when everyone is in a good mood, so imagine that subject when everyone is in a bad mood. It brings out the worst in us. It makes us think of money grubbing ex wives and stingy ex husbands. It makes us think of kids being bartered and
Yet another Anglo-American-backed dictator is set to fall from grace. The Shah of Iran, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein — they all refused to concede defeat. And they all fell down.
Hosni Mubarak will, too, if he doesn’t review his history books. There are, after all, only two-types of Anglo-American dictators: those who accept the endgame and live free to tell the tale, and those who don’t.
These men are dominoes — there were many before them and there will be many after them to keep the system
As events in Egypt move forward, the United States has appeared to be a befuddled bystander, reacting slowly and with a muted voice that cannot be heard above the din of those demanding freedom.
The essence of public diplomacy is direct contact with diverse publics around the world. The pace of this outreach cannot be determined by governments alone. Rather, it is dictated largely by new media that move at the speed of events themselves.