Given the way events have been unfolding around Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, one could understand why he might have simply wanted to go home. On Sept. 9, Chen went to his hometown in Taiwan’s Tainan County, a Democratic People’s Party (DPP) stronghold, to meet with a group of faithful supporters. The storm, meanwhile, was in the capital Taipei, more than 350 kilometers away, where tens of thousands of angry demonstrators, many dressed in red to reflect their outrage, gave Chen the thumbs-down during a sit-in outside the presidential palace. In Tainan County, Chen encountered a sit-in as well, but this [...]
JERUSALEM — Pedestrians jam this city’s lively Ben Yehuda Street during the blindingly bright daylight hours and late into the Middle Eastern night. From the local newsstands, the papers announce an agreement between the Palestinian sides, Hamas and Fatah, to form a unity government, holding out the tantalizing prospect of progress in the quest for peace. The news sifts into conversations along this white stone road, where shops and restaurants buzz with activity and street musicians entertain the crowds even as armed guards posted at every door check restaurant and cafe patrons to keep suicide bombers from striking this, one [...]
Kofi Annan’s term as secretary general of the United Nations will end on Dec. 31, and he is trying to make the most of the few months left. Annan has recently completed an eleven-day trip to a dozen countries in the Middle East and Europe, trying to elicit the widest support — from Israel to Iran — for the 15,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission to Southern Lebanon. The tour, which Annan described as the most strenuous and demanding of his career, is an attempt to conclude his eight-year tenure with a UN success in the Middle East, a region whose population [...]
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