This is the summer to visit Munich, as the dynamic metropolis celebrates its 850th birthday with two citywide parties. On July 19 and 20 and Aug. 1 to 3, roads and bridges will be closed and illuminated, with events—including concerts, plays, art exhibitions, extreme-sports competitions and historical re-enactments—set up on outdoor stages and other venues across town.Now is the time to take in the city's culture.
China's growing military and economic power has become something of an American obsession. Recent books, like "Red Dragon" or "The China Threat," combined with warnings from Washington—like the Pentagon's designation of China as an emerging "peer competitor"—have contributed to an abiding sense of fear.
When Tony Blair made his valedictory rounds last month, one of his most remarkable stops barely got any notice. On a short stay in Libya, Blair declared British-Libyan relations "completely transformed" and announced a $900 million oil- and gas-exploration deal between BP and the Libyan government.
Politics stops at the water's edge. Or so voters in the Western democracies like to believe. When our security is at stake, we expect elected leaders to think coolly and strategically, advancing the national interest.Iraq has done much to discredit such hopes.
Just over a year ago, author Jeremy Rifkin predicted that Europe would soon overtake the United States as a model for the world. The so-called European Dream--a coupling of the national social welfare state with multilateral cooperation in Brussels to promote free markets and common regulations--would supersede the American Dream.For true believers in that vision, 2005 was a dispiriting year.
Political life has ground to a halt. Pundits and politicians can't stop talking about it. Yet more and more, it seems, ordinary folk want nothing to do with it. "It," of course, is the European Union's proposed constitution, likely to be rejected in France on May 29 and perhaps also in the Netherlands on June 1.
Of the 2 million fans who will attend an opera in Europe this summer, one third will visit a single spot: the ancient Roman arena of Verona, where the performances are crowd-pleasing ("Aida," "La Boheme"), the stagings monumental, the casts strong, the sound clear and the setting incomparably romantic.