Gareth Evans
Published: Saturday 29 December 2012
“For optimists, what matters is believing in and nurturing the instinct of cooperation in the hope, and expectation, that decent human values will ultimately prevail.”

The Global March Toward Peace

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If we were hoping for peace in our time, 2012 did not deliver it. Conflict grew ever bloodier in Syria, continued to grind on in Afghanistan, and flared up periodically in West, Central, and East Africa. There were multiple episodes of ethnic, sectarian, and politically motivated violence in Myanmar (Burma), South Asia, and around the Middle East.



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ABOUT Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans, Australia’s former foreign minister, is President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group and Chancellor, Australian National University. He is the author of The Responsibility to Protect.

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Defense Budget

U.S. Proposes Selling Spy Drones to S Korea

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The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama formally proposed a controversial sale of advanced spy drones to help South Korea bear more of its defence from any attack by the heavily armed North. Seoul has requested a possible $1.2bn sale of four Northrop Grumman Corp RQ-4 “Global Hawk” remotely piloted aircraft with enhanced surveillance capabilities, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said on Tuesday. South Korea needs such systems to assume top responsibility for intelligence-gathering from the US-led Combined Forces Command as scheduled in 2015, the security agency said. South Korea’s possible Global Hawk purchase would mark the system's first sale in the Asia-Pacific region. It has already been sold to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Read it at Aljazeera


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Fiscal Cliff

Congress Awaits Obama On “Fiscal Cliff”

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The United States on Wednesday edged closer to the “fiscal cliff” as Congress waited for President Barack Obama to return from vacation in Hawaii and make one final attempt to avoid huge tax hikes and spending cuts in the New Year. In the absence of Obama, there was no sign of either side in Congress making an effort to strike a deal. The corridors of the Capitol building were empty except for an occasional police officer, and members' office doors stayed locked. The Boehner aide also said there were no plans for new talks between the top Republican in Congress and Obama, who flies overnight and is due back in the White House on Thursday morning.
Read it at Reuters


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Chris Hedges
Truthdig / Op-Ed
Published: Tuesday 25 December 2012
If the courts fail us, a gulag state will be cemented into place.

The Final Battle

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ABOUT Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges is a weekly Truthdig columnist and a fellow at The Nation Institute. His newest book is “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

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John Grant
Published: Tuesday 25 December 2012
It was clear the President was a good man and a deeply-committed father of young children.

The President’s 900-Pound Stinking Elephant

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