Truly great cities capture our imagination, even when we have never visited them. Paris conjures renewal and love, New York is about hustle and dynamism, and London represents staid charm. Istanbul speaks of mystery, Rio de Janeiro of zestful libertinism and Shanghai of rapid reinvention.
Like the adage that it takes a thief to catch a thief, it often takes an unprincipled politician to defeat a rival with the same qualities. Even at the ripe young age of 91, Mahathir is still using Machiavellian tactics to try to unseat his successor and former acolyte, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
As much as it demands transparency and accountability from its member states, the United Nations has not always been very good at providing them itself. Now more than ever, the UN needs to bring more of its backroom dealings into the light – and it can start with the process for selecting its leader.
Continued failure to address the South China Sea issue is not just a short-term failure – it now represents a significant and ongoing risk to the Southeast Asian bloc’s health. The regional organisation should seek treatment, and stat.
The Hague ruling against China’s claims in the South China Sea reminds me of the Daoist story of the farmer who lost his horse. The horse had run away, but when the farmer’s neighbours sought to commiserate over his misfortune, the farmer simply said, “Maybe.”
Earlier this year, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he was forming a 400,000-man national guard that would report only to him, many Russians wondered why a new military force was needed. After all, Russia’s army was supposedly back: Putin had equipped it with new toys and even arranged for two small wars – in Georgia in 2008 and in Ukraine, starting in 2014 – to prove it.