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Friday, May 26, 2017

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All in the family? NATO newcomers Trump and Macron a study in contrasts.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The “family photo” of leaders attending the NATO meeting in the Belgian capital Thursday included an unusually large number of first-timers to the transatlantic alliance’s premier stage. Among the newcomers pictured in the traditional summit souvenir was the president of tiny Montenegro, whose country only acceded to NATO membership in April. Recommended: How much do you know about NATO?
US patrol sends signal to Beijing's claims in South China Sea – but how strong?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Fifteen years ago, when China and the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations committed to establishing a code of conduct to govern actions in the South China Sea, the Paracel Islands were little more than a collection of rocks 138 miles off the coast of Vietnam. Last year, Beijing deployed anti-aircraft missiles to the archipelago. China’s militarization of the South China Sea, a vast waterway through which more than $5 trillion in trade passes each year, faced sharp criticism from the Obama administration, which regularly ordered freedom-of-navigation patrols to challenge Beijing’s territorial claims in the area.
Paradise found
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
It was 6 in the morning, and the only sound I could hear was the rhythmic dip ... dip ... dip of the heart-shaped paddle of our guide, Lasa, into the murky waters of Dal Lake in Kashmir. As a journalist, I was here to learn and write about that conflict.
When hostility to media becomes assault
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Lots of politicians aren’t happy to see reporters. Lots of politicians have demeaned reporters for partisan purposes over the years. It’s been almost five decades since Vice President Spiro Agnew roused GOP voters by calling the media “nattering nabobs of negativism” (words penned, perhaps ironically, by future New York Times columnist William Safire).
How Trump and Europe rebonded
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
During his first official trip to Europe this week, President Trump was politely asked to back the defining glue of the Continent and the transatlantic partnership. Both the European Union and NATO – the core of what is called “the West” – have enough issues without the uncertainties of Mr. Trump’s “America First” theme of the past year. Both the EU and NATO are too often defined by what they are against, such as Russian aggression, trade protectionism, terrorism, and anti-democratic forces.
Rouhani's election victory in Iran was dramatic, but how deep did it go?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Dancing in the streets to the powerful beats from car sound systems – on virtually the one day every four years that such spontaneous public parties are tolerated – Iranians joyously celebrated the reelection of their hero, President Hassan Rouhani. Mr. Rouhani has promised greater freedoms and vowed to reconnect Iran to the world, and as voters celebrated, they chanted for the release of opposition leaders. Recommended: How much do you know about Iran?
Manchester’s lesson about fragile states
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
One connection between Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber in Manchester, England, and most of his victims was their youthful fragility. According to British authorities, he was recently in Libya, home to a branch of Islamic State (ISIS). Much of the world’s struggle against terrorism involves either protecting or preventing fragility – and not only in people.
Adam Schiff: Why Congress needs to go forward with own Russia investigations
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In one way, the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russia investigation could greatly hamper parallel investigations in Congress. Witnesses may well resist appearing before congressional committees for fear of incriminating themselves, knowing that Mr. Mueller, the former FBI director appointed by the Department of Justice, is on the hunt for criminal wrongdoing.
How a forlorn playground became one of America’s most innovative public spaces
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Day after day in this heavily Latino and African-American neighborhood, she’d come to this sorry spot ridden with hypodermic needles and gin bottles, its swings shredded by pit bulls trained to improve their jaw strength by hanging from the seats. “I’d be thinking, ‘What’s that white lady think she’s going to do in this neighborhood?” Ms. Cerda, who is Native American, recalls. Ms. Maher, whose rubber gardening boots complement the yellow rubber bands fastened around the pigtails she still wears in her mid-50s, is an urban visionary – a playground-whisperer who stubbornly believes that the most beautiful and enlightened public spaces, especially playgrounds, not only belong in the most disadvantaged communities but also can be designed, built, managed, and programmed by the people who live there.
As crisis intensifies, Venezuelans look beyond Chavísmo's sharp divides
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Emerlinda sits in the Caracas home where she’s lived for nearly five years, reflecting on how things have changed since 2013: the year Hugo Chávez died and his hand-picked successor Nicolás Maduro was elected. Like many of Venezuela’s poor, the domestic worker adored Mr. Chávez, the country’s self-professed messiah: He made it possible for her, a native Colombian, to gain Venezuelan citizenship, and his social policies put a roof over her head, and guaranteed her access to health care and an education. It was only logical, she says, to put her faith in President Maduro.
When the young are targeted, explaining terrorism to children
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“It is going to bring reality to them,” says Ms. Hall-Newman, in a telephone interview from Manchester where she happens to be at a conference – and where she spent the weekend with her daughter. The suicide bomber is reported to be 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was born in Manchester to parents who fled Libya's Qaddafi regime.
With big spending cuts, Trump’s budget highlights clash of values
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
To the Trump team, the president’s budget proposal is rooted in unassailable values: respect for the people “who are actually paying the taxes,” as White House budget director Mick Mulvaney puts it. In President Trump’s $4.1 trillion fiscal 2018 budget plan, released Tuesday, that approach translates into deep cuts in social safety-net programs that Mr. Mulvaney suggests discourage work and hinder economic growth. To others, the values reflected in the Trump budget are no less than “Robin Hood in reverse” – take from the poor to give to the rich, in the form of tax cuts.
As Taiwan debates gay marriage, advocates eye influence abroad
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As bills to legalize same-sex marriage made their way through the legislature last year, Taiwan seemed poised for a blast of international limelight – not so common for the island of 23 million. For LGBT advocates throughout Asia, the proposed law promised to be an exciting “first” for the region. For a groundswell of Taiwanese, it also represented one more step in Taipei’s years-long strategy of compensating for its diplomatic handicaps with “soft power” strength, bolstering its image as a place open to social change – particularly in contrast to mainland China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan.
In Jordanian city hit by ISIS, old lessons on Christian
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When Islamic State jihadists seized the Crusader castle in the heart of this southern Jordanian city in December, Maher Habashneh had just one thing in mind. Braving stray bullets from a firefight playing out in the city center between ISIS and an alliance of security forces and city residents, Mr. Habashneh rushed to the home of Waddah Amarien, where he stood guard until his childhood friend returned from Amman early the next morning. Habashneh, an unemployed university graduate, is Muslim, Mr. Amarien is Christian.
Manchester attack: three questions to consider
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In what has become an all-too-familiar occurrence, an apparent terrorist attack has once again struck the European public, this time at a concert by American singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, England, attended by thousands of pre-teen and teenaged girls. At the time of writing, the death toll was at 22, with more than 50 injured in what has been described as a suicide bombing just at the foyer of the Manchester Arena. Media reports and recent patterns suggest that the perpetrator is likely another radicalized, lone-wolf attacker, perhaps inspired by the so-called Islamic State, which has already claimed responsibility.
With huge arms deal, US pivots back to Saudis. How does it affect the region?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The $110 billion arms deal President Trump signed with Saudi Arabia may ultimately be as destabilizing in the Middle East as it is good for business in the US. “Our vision is one of peace, security, and prosperity,” Mr. Trump told Sunni Arab leaders in Riyadh, as he called on them to crush Islamic State jihadists and to isolate Iran.
Trump has denied 'collusion' with Russia. But is that the real issue?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
If there’s a single word at the center of the FBI investigation into the Russian connection to the 2016 US election, it might be “collusion.” It means secret or illegal cooperation, especially to cheat or deceive others. “That is important stuff for the public to be aware of even if it absolves the campaign staff of ‘knowing collusion,’ ” says Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who studies national security and intelligence surveillance, in an email interview.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Trump’s fresh approach to the Middle East
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
By example as much as by words, President Trump has used his maiden trip abroad to demonstrate a fresh direction for the Middle East, one that could be called ecumenical diplomacy. First he visited Islam’s birthplace, Saudi Arabia. Then he was off to Israel, the center of Judaism.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
One West Virginia city's pioneering approach to opioid crisis
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Within a minute of the siren sounding in Station 4, three firefighters are barreling through a red light.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Readers write: Train memories, Brontës depiction, people's enemies
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
There are no more train whistles, but we hear lots of talking, laughing, and people enjoying themselves. Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test? Regarding the March 27 Chapter & Verse blog, “ ‘To Walk Invisible’ brings to life the Brontës and the genius forged on the moors”: I recently viewed “To Walk Invisible.” It was excellent – much better than the 1946 movie “Devotion.” I have read all the Brontë novels and never wondered where they found the material.
Will North Korea bring the US and ASEAN together?, Chibok girls freed but concerns remain, What did Erdoğan get out of talks with Putin?, Venezuelan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
"Diplomatic relations between the US and countries in this region have often been hampered by different standards and interpretations of political integrity...," states an editorial. "At least on the black-and-white threat posed by an armed and boisterous North Korea, America and Southeast Asia can sing the same tune. It’s the grey issues that have rendered our ties tenuous.... White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has said Washington wants to be ‘on the same page’ with [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] regarding North Korea, and that takes precedence over allegations of rights abuses hampering democratic progress in the region.
Trump's first trip: Can he offer leadership on both security and values?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
For national security adviser H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s first overseas trip is about proclaiming the return of America’s global leadership. The president’s nine-day, five-country trip to the Middle East and Europe, which begins Friday, will “reverse a trend of America’s disengagement from the world and from the world’s biggest problems,” Lt. Gen. McMaster said recently. The challenge Mr. Trump faces, however, is that the leaders he will meet with and the publics he’ll address in the two regions he’ll visit are looking for different things from America and will have very different aspirations for US leadership.
Last show for Ringling: Why it’s not really the end of the circus
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
On May 21 the circus long promoted as “The Greatest Show on Earth” is closing down with a final performance in Uniondale, N.Y. – attended by no small dose of bittersweet nostalgia from fans and the media. Richard Bukowski can tell you. To many, the demise of Ringling – a circus that defined the word for a century and half – seems unfathomable.
What path forward for the GOP agenda?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The window for Republicans in Congress to make significant progress on their agenda is closing fast, and a disorganized and crisis-riddled White House is not helping. At all.
Cassette comeback: For fans, 'a yearning for something you can hold'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Like the original, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is endearingly retro. The hero Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) cherishes a vintage Sony Walkman and his mixtape of 1970s pop gems such as “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” from the band Looking Glass. Cassette sales are up by 82 percent for the year, and even Top 40 hitmaker Justin Bieber is releasing albums on tape.
He’s led a transformation among Roma villagers: crime down, productivity up
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
László Bogdán doesn’t enjoy his fame much. Journalists, politicians, and even foreign diplomats have been flocking to see Mr. Bogdán in Cserdi, a village in southern Hungary where he’s the mayor. The “Cserdi miracle,” as it’s been dubbed, has made the mayor famous nationwide.
Taboo
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
From the lecterns of mass rally stages, and during live television debates, Iran’s presidential candidates have crossed multiple regime red lines in their bids to cast opponents as dangerously unfit for office. Energized by the electoral fisticuffs, thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets each night, with activists from both sides – either seeking change, or fearing it – expressing their views in noisy traffic jams. Recommended: How much do you know about Iran?
How Mueller appointment may calm a roiled Washington
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the agency’s Russia investigation adds a measure of integrity and calm during a time of tumult in Washington. It cools the nascent – and premature – talk of impeachment that had started to build following President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and reports that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to drop an investigation into the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
The place in America where (almost) no one drinks their tap water
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“[O]n the TV you see someone go to the faucet and get a drink of water, and it just makes me mad cause, you know, we can’t do that,” says Mr. Fannin, who buys two or three 24-packs of bottled water a month for drinking and cooking. For the rest of the community, relying solely on bottled water is seen as just a way of life, not a reason to protest.
More than they bargained for? Israeli leaders gird for Trump visit.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
A recent cartoon in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu breaking a sweat as he greeted a friend bearing gifts: President Trump with a package containing an Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Mr. Netanyahu, on the heels of a famously bad relationship with former President Barack Obama that both sides did little to hide, has gone out of his way to signal that Mr. Trump is a president he can deal with. For his part, Trump took office after campaigning hard on the theme he would be a more sympathetic friend to Israel.
How Saudis claim freedom
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
For his first official trip abroad, President Trump will be in Saudi Arabia this weekend, attending a dizzying number of public events. Written by Swiss entrepreneur Rolf Dobelli with tips for independence in thought, the book’s popularity speaks volumes about what Saudis want in a society long controlled by a monarchy and clerical authorities. In recent years, Saudis have taken to Twitter to speak out against government – despite the threat of a public lashing if they go too far in criticizing the monarchy.