Analysis

Farmer protests add to India’s woes

It is not often that farmers take to the streets, blocking highways and railway tracks and calling for an all-India strike. What provoked them was changes to rules governing how farmers sell grains and other crops, which triggered fears that the Minimum Support Price at…

Permafrost descends on US-Russia ties

On September 24, a bipartisan group of US senators proposed sanctions against Russian officials over the alleged poisoning of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Siberia recently.  A targeted bill titled Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act of 2020 has been introduced by five…

Call to penalize banks laundering dirty money

Financial regulators must impose more heavy penalties to combat money laundering, experts argue, after an international journalism investigation alleged that astronomical amounts of dirty cash has been flowing for years through some top global banks. A probe by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of…

How Huawei grew to dominate the world

From its earliest years, the telecommunications equipment industry has been considered strategic by the governments of highly industrialized countries. As such, national champions have emerged including Alcatel in France, NEC in Japan, Siemens in Germany and Ericsson in Sweden. In the US, the AT&T monopoly…

You’re on your own, Fed tells panicked market

The dog that didn’t bark in the night in Wednesday’s dog of a market was US real Treasury yields, the safe haven of choice during stock market crashes. Real yields rose as stocks crashed after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and other Fed officials warned…

The Office of Internet Freedom Reborn at the U.S. Agency for Global Media

News Analysis The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees U.S. government broadcasters such as Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, has re-opened its Office of Internet Freedom (OIF). OIF, which began operations in 2016, had then been closed by leadership then in…

US strategic clarity on Taiwan could deter China

The Chinese are buying American soybeans, and even if their agricultural imports have not reached Phase One levels, they are driving soybean prices higher. So far, so good. The question is: Will they continue to buy in the years ahead? The answer will depend, in…

China’s Sri Lanka foothold a dilemma for India

There are three categories of statesmen: those addicted to Twitter (Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Javad Zarif, et al); those who shun it (Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Xi Jinping, et al); and those with selective uses for the micro-blogging app. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa…

RBG’s Greatest Insight

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s time on the Court was often characterized as a pitched battle between the principles of equality and individual liberty. Conservative majorities have tended to elevate individual autonomy rights over equal treatment and equal opportunity in our politics, our workplaces, and our…

UK in a tailspin as it glimpses long gone glories

Spitfires and Hurricanes soared over London on Sunday in a reminder of heroic days 80 years ago, when an embattled United Kingdom stood as Europe’s last bulwark against Nazism. The now-iconic World War II fighters handed Hitler his first strategic defeat. Success in the Battle…

Pompeo threatens to light the fuse in Persian Gulf

The US Fifth Fleet announced last Friday that a carrier strike group led by USS Nimitz passed through the Strait of Hormuz with the guided-missile cruisers USS Princeton and USS Philippine Sea and guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett. After a gap of some 10 months, a…

Japan’s new defense minister a blast from the past

Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has selected Nobuo Kishi as his minister of defense. Kishi is former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s younger brother, adopted by the Kishi family to maintain the line. Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, had a long career as an infamous official…

How Jimi Hendrix’s London Years Changed Music

“It’s so lovely now,” Jimi Hendrix said in his muzzy mumble, his topplingly elegant, close-to-gibberish, discreetly space-traveling undertone, onstage one night in 1967 at the Bag O’Nails in London. “I kissed the fairest soul brother of England, Eric Clapton—kissed him right on the lips.” This…

The American Government Gave Up on Reality

Alexander Hamilton and his colleagues wrote 85 separate essays to make their case that Americans should take a risk and ratify the 1787 Constitution. Three sentences into the very first of those Federalist Papers, Hamilton made clear that he knew full well the stakes of…

Suga’s team looks like old wine in a new bottle

Japan’s diminutive new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga certainly does not have the build of a sumo wrestler – and probably does not have the mindset of one, either. That’s a shame because the Japanese brand of politics is crying out for some of the core…

Why Isn’t Trump Trying to Win?

The fate of an incumbent president is exquisitely sensitive to economic conditions. Incumbents tend to lose elections when the economy is weak (e.g., George H. W. Bush’s defeat in 1992) and win when it’s strong (e.g., Bill Clinton’s romp four years later). The 2020 economy…

Israel-Arab pacts risk a regional backlash

The leak of a purported Iranian plot to assassinate a US envoy, timed to coincide with the normalization of relations between Israel and Iran’s Arab rivals, has the odor of a planted story. A Politico report citing an anonymous US official claiming that Iran was…

The moral case for China to fight a war

War sounds nearer for China while its contours remain rather foggy. But Hu Xijin, the editor of the Global Times, a popular newspaper associated with the Communist Party organ the People’s Daily, recently broached the possibility of a real war. “Chinese people don’t want war,…

Why the EU and China can’t agree on a deal

PRAGUE – At the start of 2020, German Chancellor Angela Merkel thought this week she would be welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping and the heads of other European governments for a major summit in Leipzig, her diplomatic swansong as she prepares to step down after…

What might China demand to let Arm go to NVIDIA?

NVIDIA and SoftBank Group have announced “a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SBG and the SoftBank Vision Fund (together, “SoftBank”) in a transaction valued at $40 billion.” Nvidia, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the leading designer of graphics processing…

Shinzo Abe’s pet bank gets a new Suga daddy

Yoshihide Suga’s first big decision as Japan’s new prime minister is deciding what directive to give the central bank. To be sure, Suga’s to-do list is long and daunting. It includes who gets the plum cabinet jobs, which world leader gets his first phone call…

New Cold War is subtler than the old

The previous Cold War was easy. The issue was business or no business: the West and it’s front were pro-business. The USSR and its allies believed business was the mother of all evils. Politics followed. In the West, free politics was in tune with the…

An India-China reset is still possible

A joint statement wasn’t anticipated after the talks between Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Moscow on September 10. In diplomatic terms, a joint statement signals that a “critical mass” developed through the three-hour discussion…

Making Joe Biden Cool

Ben Wessel was nervous. Joe Biden had just won the Democratic nomination, and the youth-focused super PAC Wessel runs, NextGen America, now had to figure out how to persuade the generation of TikTok and trigger warnings to turn out to vote for a 77-year-old man…

Who You’re Reading When You Read Haruki Murakami

Books are a product unlike most others. Novelists are not iPhones. The new doesn’t render the old obsolete. No matter how much you loved Sally Rooney, you would not suggest that because of her, Oscar Wilde is history. An adoration of Emma Cline would not…

US-China tensions rooted in deep, long-term shift

The recent decline in US-China relations has many contributing factors that arise from the domestic politics of both countries.  The single most important trigger, however, is a key structural change: China becoming nearly as strong an economic and military power as the US.  The growth…

Modi’s legacy to be defined by virus war defeat

Jawaharlal Nehru began his historic “Tryst with Destiny” speech on August 15, 1947, heralding India’s independence, with an immortal line: “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” On September 4, 2020, at the stroke…

SMIC sanctions will hurt non-tech US firms, too

The Trump administration is considering whether or not to add Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) to the Commerce Department’s “Entity List” – the same mechanism used to restrict the export of American technology to Huawei.  SMIC is the largest Chinese semiconductor foundry. This would cause…

New path needed for US -North Korea peace

The assumption that President Joe Biden – if that is what we Americans get – will revert to pre-2017 policies toward North Korea is surely mistaken. Too much has changed in four years.  North Korea poses a more credible nuclear threat than it did then.…

US epidemic reaction deviating from the pattern?

You have to wonder whether the United States isn’t about to partially invalidate an Italian scholarly study that’s just being released. From the Black Death to the Spanish Flu, according to the study, history teaches that social tension accumulated over an epidemic can lead later…

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