Asia-Pacific

I had almost forgotten about this ongoing dispute between Australia and Japan over whaling, which has been going on for years (and which I first noted on this blog way back in 2005).  The Australian Prime Minister warned Japan yesterday that if whaling doesn't stop by November, Australia will take Japan to court, either the ICJ or the International Tribunal...

The Copenhagen process is multilateral, focused on reaching global agreements. But to get to a strong and truly effective global climate regime, bold bilateral initiatives may be needed. The conditions are propitious for a deal between China and the US, the world’s largest and second largest emitters, but that will call for imaginative and committed leadership on both sides as...

The WSJ has a very important (and certain to be much debated) story today on the front page, "A Global Surge in Tiny Loans Spurs Credit Bubble in a Slum," WSJ, A1, Thursday August 13, 2009. Also see the follow on stories, "Group borrowing leads to pressure," which is about the problem that when you use 'peer pressure' rather than...

Rather than comment on the refreshingly tough realism or seriously imprudent bear-baiting of Vice-President Biden's recent remarks on Russia ("Russia will bend to the US"), or whether there is an important and dangerous gap between short-term and long-term in the collapse of an imperial nuclear power even if the long-run claim is true, etc., let me instead offer a background...

Well, that's exactly what the Obama Administration did this past Wednesday.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed the 1976 ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) on behalf of the United States with the intention that her signature serve as the requisite act of accession, bringing the treaty immediately into force for the United States.  Now, the treaty does not commit the United States...

In 1949, a land that had for hundreds of years been home to Muslim peoples was forcibly seized by outsiders. They implemented a policy of ethnic dislocation and colonization. While some of the Muslims, chafing under the occupation, turned to terrorism,  the recalcitrant state refused to budge even until today. And the occupied country is

Robert Petit, the International Co-Prosecutor, is resigning effective September 1: In a statement, Robert Petit said he would be stepping down as of 1 September for personal and family reasons. “It has been the greatest privilege of my career to have the opportunity to bring some justice to the victims of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge,” he said. “I remain convinced...

I'm not a comparative constitutional-law scholar, but I find it interesting that, pursuant to Section 44(iii) of the Constitution of Australia, no one can serve in Parliament who "[i]s an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent."  The solvency requirement harkens back to the bad old days of U.S. history, when most States prohibited individuals who did not own property from voting.  But...

Because I so rarely get to blog about uplifting things, I wanted to pass along the following story, concerning a group of aboriginals who, in 1938 -- when so much of the world was silent -- protested the Nazis' treatment of the Jews during Kristallnacht: William Cooper’s name does not appear on Yad Vashem’s list of the Righteous Among the Nations,...

More than 150,000 civilians under daily bombardment, with an estimated 2800 already dead (including 500 children) and more than 7000 injured.  Water and medicine running short.  The advancing forces rejecting a cease fire.  And the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights raising concern about potential violations of international human rights and humanitarian law...

Alexander Cooley of Barnard College and the Harriman Institute at Columbia University has an op-ed in the International Herald Tribune looking into how and why the U.S. is in the process of losing its air base in Kyrgyzstan. The story really gives a sense of the brass tacks of the so-called New Great Game: actually a not-so-great game of payoffs, more payoffs, threats, and...