Una semana de manifestaciones en Venezuela. Tres personas asesinadas por arma de fuego, docenas de heridos, docenas más arrestadas y encarceladas. Bandas simpatizantes al régimen intimidan a estudiantes de universidades y escuelas secundarias que protestaban. La pregunta que todos se hacen es: ¿Está el Chavismo finalmente desmoronándose en Venezuela?
Hugo Chávez murió de cáncer hace casi un año, y la pregunta latente sobre Venezuela es cuánto tiempo puede su extraño régimen sobrevivir sin él.
Un país con una población más pequeña que la de Canadá tiene más asesinatos que los Estados Unidos. La inflación supera el 56%. Productos desde el papel higiénico hasta el vino sacramental han desaparecido de las tiendas.… Seguir leyendo »
A superpower needs a super attention span. Unfortunately, Americans seem to take little interest in the troubles of the world around them, even when those troubles threaten soon to vex Americans themselves.
Americans fought two world wars — and faced nuclear annihilation in a protracted Cold War — to defend the freedom of Europe. In the thrilling days of 1989-91, four generations of American sacrifice were magnificently vindicated. The communist regimes of central Europe collapsed. The Soviet Union itself broke apart into smaller and less threatening pieces.
For four centuries, the rulers of Russia had sought security for themselves by dominating first their own people, then their neighbors, then their neighbors’ neighbors, then their neighbors’ neighbors’ neighbors … until their power extended from Berlin to the Pacific Ocean.… Seguir leyendo »
To assess this weekend’s nuclear deal with Iran, here are the key questions that must be answered:
1) How close was Iran to building a nuclear weapon?
The deal does not stop the Iranian nuclear program. It merely slows certain elements of that program for six months while others continue. After six months, Iran can resume where it left off. Iran made no concessions that cannot be reversed.
More telling, Iran has protected its top nuclear priority. The deal allows it to continue enriching uranium, a stark departure from previous U.S. policy and a clutch of U.N. Security Council Resolutions that declare enrichment by Iran illegal and unacceptable, period.… Seguir leyendo »
As harrowing images from the Philippines grieve the world, notice something that isn’t happening: we are not hearing much debate about the connection between tropical cyclones and global climate change.
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report warning that rising temperatures would lead to more frequent and violent storms. Last year, the panel tempered that conclusion.
While warmer water makes cyclones more likely — and while a higher sea level makes these tropical storms more dangerous — changes in wind patterns might counteract those dangers. For Americans in particular, 2013 has proved the calmest hurricane season since 2002.… Seguir leyendo »
The Mexican Senate has just passed, 72-2, an 8% tax on candy, chips and other high-calorie foods. It continues to debate a special additional tax of about 8 cents per liter on sugary soda.
You can understand why Mexican leaders are worried about their nation’s eating habits. Mexicans consume more sugary soft drinks per person than any other people on earth. Mexico suffers the highest incidence of diabetes among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Mexicans are more likely to be obese even than Americans, the next runner-up.
Taxes on junk foods constitute just a part of a vast fiscal reform proposed by Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto.… Seguir leyendo »
In recent months, the issue of privacy has come to the forefront in a number of cases, including the latest revelation that the U.S. government has been secretly collecting Verizon customers’ phone records. Here’s a selection of CNN.com op-eds on related issues.
We’re losing control of our digital privacy
The erosion of privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, written to protect us against unreasonable search and seizure, began in earnest under President George W. Bush. The Patriot Act, passed overwhelmingly but hastily after 9/11, allows the FBI to obtain telecommunication, financial, and credit records without a court order. Moreover, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s 2008 amendment act grants U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
Iran’s oil output has tumbled to the lowest level in 23 years, the International Energy Agency reported Friday. This is the work of the tightening sanctions around Iran. The effects upon the Iranian economy have been dramatic.
Over the past year, Iran’s oil output has dropped by about 1 million barrels a day; Iran’s oil revenues have declined by 60% over those same 12 months. This is the cause of the collapse of the Iranian currency. The rial traded at 12,000 to the dollar at the beginning of 2010. Today the rial trades at about 35,000 to the dollar, when it trades at all.… Seguir leyendo »
That’s good advice to keep in mind after the drop in Facebook’s share price last week. Shares in the social media company closed Friday at $21, a loss of $17 since the company’s public offering in May. (It moved up by 83 cents in Monday’s trading.)
By any definition, Facebook has grown into a very successful business. Facebook is one of those rare companies that reshape the world. It has signed up almost 1 billion users, it collects almost $4 billion in revenues, it earns more than $1 billion in profits.
Yet Facebook is rapidly proving itself a correspondingly disappointing investment — and worse may be ahead.… Seguir leyendo »