U.S. President Bill Clinton called the punishment extreme and mistaken, continuing to pressure the Singaporean government to grant Fay clemency from caning. Two dozen U.S. senators signed a letter to the Singaporean government also appealing for clemency. After Fay’s punishment was carried out, the United States Trade Representative said that he would try to prevent the World Trade Organization’s first ministerial meeting from taking place in Singapore.
the navigator was listening to his iPod during a critical evolution, watchstanders were known to sleep on the job, and stereo speakers were rigged for music in the radio room.
・・・The Roman historian Livy told of how in 186 B.C. the debauched orgies known as the Bacchanalia had grown so wild that “the infection of this mischief, like that from the contagion of disease, spread from Etruria to Rome.” The senate, concerned that the widening plague of contagious partying might swamp the commonwealth, sought to imprison and execute revelers.
The Middle Ages saw its share of weird, contagious episodes. On several occasions between 1017 and 1518, groups of people began dancing uncontrollably in the streets of Germany, Switzerland, and France?with the mania spreading Medusa-like “by the sight of the sufferers like a demoniacal epidemic,” according to 18th-century physician Justus Hecker, who compiled accounts of the dancing contagions in his 1835 book The Epidemics of the Middle Ages. Convents were hot spots for nutty outbreaks, too: In 1491, nuns in Cambrai, France, started yelping like dogs, whereas the sisters in a Spanish nunnery took to bleating like sheep. (Naturally, there were also meowing nuns.) Today, these manias are seen as examples of hysterical contagion・・・
In 1895, the French psychologist Gustave Le Bon concluded that “[i]n a crowd every sentiment and act is contagious,” with the gang mentality obliterating the personality to such a degree that the individual “is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will.” ・・・
・・・the rich man’s disease known as conspicuous consumption was seen to spread via “pecuniary emulation.・・・
・・・President Kurmanbek Bakiyev flew to Osh, a regional city where he enjoys support・・・
For the United States, the upheaval is of particular concern because its Manas air base, near ＜首都の＞Bishkek, is a key transit point for supplying troops in Afghanistan. The Obama administration negotiated new lease terms for the facility last year after Bakiyev threatened to evict U.S. forces from the country. ・・・
Kyrgyzstan is the only country to host both U.S. and Russian military bases. Bakiyev’s move to close Manas was reportedly made under pressure from Russia, which extended Kyrgyzstan a $2 billion loan, but the president reversed course after the United States agreed to pay a higher rent and call the installation a “transit center” rather than a base.
The installation provides a partial alternative to road shipments of supplies across Pakistan and into Afghanistan; there are frequent U.S. flights between Manas and Bagram air base, the major American military facility in Afghanistan.
The U.S. military was forced to suspend flights at Manas International Airport late Wednesday after the Kyrgyz government closed the facility, according to a U.S. defense official. The American military shares the airstrip at Manas with civilian airlines. ・・・
・・・Kyrgyz Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov resigned Thursday and a steering committee of opposition figures appointed Roza Otunbayeva・・・a former foreign minister・・・temporary head of a new government.・・・
The chaotic scenes Wednesday and Thursday were almost a rerun of the 2005 demonstrations, which became known as the Tulip Revolution. Five years ago last month, at the end of a day of protests, Bakiyev stood on an armored vehicle outside the main government building, personifying a rush of hope as then-President Askar Akayev fled, first to Kazakhstan and later to Russia.
But Bakiyev was widely viewed as having failed to deliver expected prosperity to the mountainous country of 5 million; many people remained dependent on remittances from 800,000 Kyrgyz migrant workers in Russia, and when the Russian economy tanked in the global downturn, the effects in Kyrgyzstan were profound. ・・・
・・・Russia had stoked anti-American sentiment in Kyrgyzstan in recent months, often over the issue of the base. ・・・
Opposition leaders have been divided in recent weeks over whether they would continue to allow the American military base to remain, but it seems clear that they harbor bitterness toward the United States. And neighboring Russia, which has long resented the base, has been currying favor with the opposition. ・・・
・・・ Not content merely to block dissonant views, the government increasingly employs agents to peddle its views online, in the guise of impartial bloggers and chat-room denizens. ・・・
・・・access to the Internet in China from the outside world is limited, and all traffic must pass through one of three large computer centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
At those centers, government computers ? the so-called Great Firewall ? intercept inbound data and compare it with a constantly changing list of forbidden keywords and Web addresses. ・・・
China’s leading instant-messaging service, called QQ, automatically installs a program on users’ computers that monitors their communications and blocks censored text. ・・・
Another strategy is manipulation. In recent years, local and provincial officials have hired armies of low-paid commentators to monitor blogs and chat rooms for sensitive issues, then spin online comment in the government’s favor. ・・・
・・・Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin on Wednesday became the first Russian or Soviet leader to join Polish officials in commemorating the anniversary of the murder of thousands of Polish officers by the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II. ・・・
“We bow our heads to those who bravely met death here,” Mr. Putin said at a site in the Katyn forest close to the Russian city of Smolensk, where 70 years ago members of the Soviet secret police executed more than 20,000 Polish officers captured after the Soviet Army invaded Poland in 1939.
“In this ground lay Soviet citizens, burnt in the fire of the Stalinist repression of the 1930s; Polish officers, shot on secret orders; soldiers of the Red Army, executed by the Nazis.”・・・
In his remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Putin fell short of issuing an official apology, as some in Poland had hoped. Russia’s failure to declare the killings war crimes and allow Polish historians access to all the documents on the massacre has also rankled many Poles. Mr. Putin did condemn the “cynical lies that have blurred the truth about the Katyn shootings,” adding, however, that “it would also be a lie and manipulation to place the blame for these crimes on the Russian people.”・・・
・・・Unlike the original START, they say, the new treaty won’t count the maximum number of warheads each missile can carry, thus allowing Washington to make cuts by removing and storing warheads while keeping missiles in their silos. That means the United States could quickly rebuild its forces and dwarf the Russian arsenal, which relies on missiles that have less room for extra warheads. ・・・
Criticism of the new treaty has focused on its failure to set any limits on U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Europe・・・
・・・The sex abuse cases which were initially a problem only for national bishops’ conferences, particularly in the United States, Ireland and Germany, have merged into a crisis for the entire Catholic Church, a crisis that is now descending upon the Vatican with a vengeance and hitting its spiritual leader hard.・・・
・・・after five years in office, Benedict has seen his project fail and himself become a spiritual shepherd lost in a world that no longer understands him. The secular world now views the pope with, at best, indifference, if not downright hostility. The Church’s dialogue with the Jews suffered a serious setback in the wake of the scandal surrounding Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson. An icy silence still predominates in parts of the rabbinate, and the planned beatification of Pius XII, whose role during the Nazi era is controversial, will hardly change that.
Many Muslims have never forgiven Benedict for a lecture he gave in Regensburg in 2006, where he examined the issue of violence and Islam in a bold but ineptly executed move. The speech unleashed a torrent of protests in the Muslim world.・・・
It hasn’t come to that yet, not by a long shot. Some 80 percent of Germans still cannot imagine Benedict following the example of an almost forgotten pope, Celestine V, who resigned in the 13th century because he no longer felt able to perform his office. ・・・
For the 41-year-old cleric, the T���bingen experiences were a deep shock that changed him radically from a cosmopolitan theologian to a timid dogmatist.・・・
・・・all dossiers relating to pedophile priests passed across Ratzinger’s desk. No one in the global Church had a better idea of what was really going on in the seminaries and Catholic institutions. And this is precisely why the Catholic Church could very well face proceedings that could expand into Vatican lawyers’ worst nightmare, and could end in the pope having to answer for the charges of abuse in a secular court.・・・
・・・Terrifying as it is, suicide bombing is a tactic with a very low rate of return. As far as I can tell, there has been only one successful campaign utilizing primarily suicide attacks — that waged by Hezbollah in the early 1980s to drive foreign peacekeepers out of Lebanon. In 1983, Hezbollah blew up the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and both the U.S. Marine and French army barracks, killing 362 people. Because neither the U.S. nor France felt a keen strategic stake in Lebanon, these deaths were enough to drive them out.・・・
・・・In recent days, many veterans have made the point that fighters cannot do their jobs without creating psychological distance from the enemy. One reason that the soldiers seemed as if they were playing a video game is that, in a morbid but necessary sense, they were. ・・・
Military training is fundamentally an exercise in overcoming a fear of killing another human・・・
Combat training “is the only technique that will reliably influence the primitive, midbrain processing of a frightened human being”・・・
・・・when people are intensely focused on observing some specific feature of the landscape, they may not even see what is obvious to another observer. ・・・