August 31, 2012 Watching the storm-battered Republican convention at Tampa, Florida, does not reinforce faith in democracy or the Grand Old Party (GOP). American political conventions traditionally mix back-room horse trading with tasteless hoopla in which mostly white, overweight, middle-aged delegates wear funny outfits and make fools of themselves. Once […]

August 24, 2012 It says much when the long-time rulers of two of Africa’s largest, most important nations, Egypt’s Husni Mubarak and Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi, had to fly to Europe for critical medical treatment because their own nations lacked facilities and specialists. Meles’ untimely death at 57 last week in […]

August 17, 2012 Summer silly season is upon us. First, three girls from the Russian punk band Pussy Riot are on trial in Moscow for the heresy of mocking Vlad Putin and the Orthodox Church. Second, a Swedish public relations firm dropped teddy bears over Belarus, making fun of its […]