Sri Lankans have sprung a surprise with their commitment to democracy. They have thrown out a strongman president who had brought an end to a three-decade-long civil war and restored high economic growth.
The hope must be that the assassinations of cartoonists and journalists at the weekly Charlie Hebdo will waken political and media leaders to understand that press freedoms have been badly eroded worldwide.
It may be too much wishful thinking to expect the slaughter of 132 schoolchildren and nine teaching staff in Peshawar last month to mark a tipping point that forces Pakistan's squabbling factions, the nominal political rulers, army commanders and judges to put their heads ...
The hard reality is that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's vaunted economic reforms will not work unless he shows more guts, much more imagination and a lot more humility in dealing with a modern economy that cannot be commanded by fiat.
Scientists at leading universities, rather than Big Pharma, are fighting the battle against Ebola and other tricky diseases, while the response of Western leaders has been to try to keep Ebola out of their backyards.