Kosovo’s Independence: A Success Story For U.S.-EU Diplomacy: Russia’s Refusal To Agree — Putin’s First “Nyet”

Kosovo and its success in gaining independence has always been a Balkans sideshow, never commanding the attention of a big international audience. But the often-tense political process that culminated in the unilateral declaration of independence in early 2008 is a fascinating and instructive narrative. It is reconstructed in a new book that recounts how a few tenacious Western diplomats and their governments managed, step by step, to forge a workable international outcome in a potentially explosive situation.

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On Both Sides Of Atlantic, Technology Seen As Driver Of Innovation – And Jobs

In today’s age of specialization and over-specialization, more and more books are written for —and read by — smaller and smaller groups of people. Yet every so often a book appears that  covers a seminal topic in such an eye-opening way that it should be read by everyone who wishes to understand the society and culture we live in.  The Nature of Technology is such a book: it provides a fundamental understanding of what technology is, where technology comes from and how it evolves.  This book – the latest from this distinguished thinker about complex issues – has been compared to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as doing for technological innovation what Kuhn’s book did for our understanding scientific discovery. In our era, it may turn out be as important, about technology, as Charles Darwin’s work was about biology.

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As revelations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests continue engulfing Western Europe, the Pope – who publicly pledged to revive Christianity in the Continent – finds the church, his papacy and even himself desperately on the defensive. The scandal stems not only from child molestation by priests but also from the church’s apparent decades-long cover-up of the practice and its practitioners in the clergy.

In its broadest context, the Catholic church’s scandal seems likely to reinforce other trends in European society that have weakened trust in official institutions of both church and state. In that sense, the fate of the papacy has geo-political implications – which start with the credibility of the pope himself.

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Close by the Brandenburg Gate in the former East Berlin is the venerable Von Humboldt University. It stands on the edge of a large square originally called the Opernplazt, now the Bebenplatz, which over the centuries has been the site of numerous political and artistic demonstrations. None was historically more consequential than the infamous book-burning that took place there and on many German campuses on May 10, 1933. They were followed later by other such burnings on other campuses, including on the Freiberg campus. Despite his denials, philosopher Martin Heidegger was not only there, but also spoke as part of the program.

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“Europe is extinct.” “China cannot survive a billion pissed off peasants.” “Turkey is a power.”
“The U.S. will dominate the 21st Century.”

These are a few of the audacious and often controversial predictions of George Friedman, author of The Next 100 Years, A Forecast for the 21st Century, which has recently been issued in paperback with a new preface.

Friedman, founder and editor of Stratfor, a respected subscription global intelligence service, was recently in Washington DC, and sat down with Joëlle Attinger and Bill Marmon of the European Institute to talk about his book.

Although Friedman concedes that details of his predictions are likely to be off, he thinks he will succeed if he identifies “what will really matter” when looking back at the 21st Century.

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