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Showing posts from January 22, 2015

The Anti-Empirical Empire

In many ways, America has become the anti-empirical empire, a superpower where many political leaders divorce themselves from facts. Few examples are more glaring or dangerous than the continued denial of global warming despite the latest evidence of impending catastrophe, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

By Paul R. Pillar

The graphic that was on the front page of the New York Times on Saturday is striking. It accompanied a story about how 2014 was Earth’s hottest year on record. There is a bar chart showing how average global temperatures have been rising over the past century and markedly so since the 1970s, and how the ten warmest years have all occurred since 1997.

But just as eye-catching is a world map that uses color to depict how temperatures in different areas of the globe in 2014 differed from the average for each area: red for hotter and blue for colder, with the intensity of the color indicating how much of a divergence there was from the average. As would be expect…

Explaining the Rapid Rise of the Xenophobic Right in Contemporary Europe

The last three decades have witnessed a remarkable rise in xenophobic, deeply conservative, and even extreme right-wing parties across much of Europe.[1] Whereas thirty years ago most xenophobic parties failed to even pass the 5% minimum voter threshold that is typically required to enter government, it can be argued that they now constitute as much as ~28% of the parliament in countries like Austria, and arguably have reached the ~70% level in Hungary.[2] By 1999, the Austrians—who traditionally tout themselves as the “first victims” of the Third Reich—had elected the prominent nationalist and accused Holocaust denier[3] Jörg Haider as the governor of Carinthia and given his Freedom Party more than 26% of the vote in the national elections. Haider proceeded to personally help dismantle multilingual street signs that were erected for the local Slovene minority.[4] The Golden Dawn party, which now has more than ~7% of the national vote in Greece, often marches in the streets of Athens …

Members of Russian, Japanese Foreign Ministries to Discuss N Korea Issues

The head of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Japan's Foreign Ministry and the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister are going to hold their first meeting on a wide range of issues, concerning North Korea.


© AFP 2015/ JUNG YEON-JE

Head of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Japan's Foreign Ministry Junichi Ihara is to discuss a whole range of problems, regarding North Korea with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, a source in Japan's Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti Thursday.



"The whole range of problems, regarding North Korea, will be discussed. It will really be a talk about everything, about all existing problems. As far as I know, it is the first meeting of Morgulov and Ihara, and they will exchange opinions on all matters," the source told RIA Novosti.



© AP Photo/ Shizuo Kambayashi
According to a statement issued by Japan's Foreign Ministry earlier Thursday, Ihara will visit Moscow on January 22-23 to discuss the "North Korea issue" wi…