FROM Franklyn Griffiths
Global Warming and the Rush to Claim the Arctic's Riches CNN calls it "an irony that even Al Gore might appreciate." As global warming causes the polar icecaps to recede, frozen oceans become navigable and undiscovered oil and natural gas becomes accessible. Russia's most famous Arctic explorer, Artur Chilingarov , has placed a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper is out on the Arctic Ocean making plans for an Army training center and a deep-water port. Melting ice may free up both the Northwest Passage and one quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas. It's the Wild, Wild West all over again. Will the US assert its national interests? What are the prospects for international conflict?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.