Jan 11, 2012

Are protests loosening Putin's grip on power?

Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone, No ordinary yardstick can span her greatness: She stands alone, unique — In Russia, one can only believe. Thus wrote Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev (1803-1873) considered one of the last three great Romantic poets in Russia. Perhaps ...

Dec 29, 2011

Disappointed with Obama? It's not all his fault

Perhaps one of the most important questions globally now is who the real Barack Obama is, and what to expect from him from now on, particularly after the death of Osama Bin Laden. Few presidents in the history of the United States have inherited ...

Dec 13, 2011

The golden curse of the Peruvian Amazon

Madre de Dios, the name of a region in southeastern Peru bordering Brazil and Bolivia, is a common designation for the Virgin Mary, meaning Mother of God in Spanish. In real life, however, the name exemplifies what intense and unregulated gold exploration and extraction ...

Nov 28, 2011

How to ramrod an American congressman

A widespread perception that members of the U.S. Congress respond increasingly to special interests has received additional support from a person who knows something about it. In a cynical interview with Lesley Stahl of the television news magazine “60 minutes,” Jack Abramoff, one of ...

Nov 21, 2011

As the Egyptian military takes off its mask

The killing under torture in a maximum security prison in Cairo of Essam Ali Atta Ali, a 24-year-old Egyptian, raises concern on the role of the Egyptian military in the “New Egypt.” His death was likened to that of Khalid Said, who was beaten ...

Nov 7, 2011

Crime in America: execution of the mentally ill

Christopher Johnson’s execution by the State of Alabama creates serious doubts about the justice of a measure that is widely criticized by human rights advocates throughout the world. According to the group Equal Justice Initiative, the Alabama Supreme Court planned the execution without even ...

Oct 26, 2011

Echoes of Subcomandante Marcos' movement

I am sitting at a coffee place in San Cristobal de las Casas, a misty town in Chiapas, in southern Mexico. I am told that occasionally Subcomandante Marcos, the famed leader of indigenous people in the region, used to come here. I wonder if ...

Oct 17, 2011

Worrisome link between diabetes, Alzheimer's

In 1999, the Rotterdam Study uncovered the strong association between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In this landmark study carried out in the Netherlands, 6,370 elderly men and women were followed for an average of two years. In what was perhaps one of the first ...

Oct 10, 2011

Lord, let me quit cigars, but not yet

Despite increasing bans on tobacco use, smoking cigars will continue to have universal appeal. As the trade embargo on Cuban cigars in the U.S. is still in place, it is good to remember one of the greatest fans of Cuban cigars: the late U.S. ...

Oct 5, 2011

Why Messi finishes first on and off the pitch

There was no one happier in Barcelona on Saturday, Sept. 19, than 11-year-old Soufian of Morocco. He had seen his hero Lionel Messi, the Argentine soccer player, lift his hands and slap his thighs after scoring the first goal against team Osasuna — gestures ...