This is not an article about Dubai, which is a place you hear about all the time these days as a great tourist destination. Maybe sun lovers who are there for the first time still think it is. (Or maybe they're the kind of people who like any place with sun, even if it's a spoiled tourist trap like Marbella, Ibiza, Phuket or Cancun.) They don't seem to see the pollution, the congestion: the relentless encroachment of property speculation on the sand, the sea and the formerly blue sky.
France now faces one of the clearest ideological choices it has had in decades. Exit polls show conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Ségolène Royal with commanding leads over other candidates as first-round balloting ended in France today.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah often has the weary air of a simple man who's lived long enough to see it all, and in many ways he has. He was born more than 80 years ago, into a world of desert warriors where his father had yet to conquer the holy cities of Mecca and Medina or found the nation that Abdullah rules today.
On paper, Nicolas Sarkozy offers France its best hope for change. And that's what the French say they think they want. The elegant socialist Ségolène Royal, his rival for the presidency, would certainly be different: France's first woman head of state, who presents herself more as a listener than a leader.
Calling the U.S. occupation of Iraq 'illegitimate' was just the latest volley in Saudi Arabia's war of independence from Washington. A conversation with the Saudi foreign minister.
Angelina Jolie began traveling as a good-will ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) some six years ago. She has visited the victims of violence in Africa, Pakistan and Cambodia—first as an observer in the background, then using her fame to draw attention to the plight of the helpless.
Ever since I read an article last year by poker historian (and poet and novelist) James McManus about the Iranian art of bluffing, I've been re-thinking the confrontation between Tehran and Washington.McManus argues, most recently in the current issue of Card Player Magazine , that the Iranians actually invented poker, or a game quite close to it, which over the centuries made its way to France, across the Atlantic to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi with riverboat gamblers.
Blood feuds flourish where family ties are strong and the rule of law is weak. Add the righteousness of competing faiths along with fierce memories of ancient wrongs and you have the makings of savage, seemingly endless conflicts from Northern Ireland to the Balkans, the lake regions of Africa to the arid Holy Land.
Holed up in the grand Serail, the center of government in the heart of Beirut, five surviving members of Lebanon's cabinet have been living in fear. Just last year they were leaders of a mass movement that forced Syrian troops out of the country and seemed to open the way for a thriving democracy.
Three people were responsible for the death of Princess Diana in the hot dark hours after midnight on Aug. 31, 1997, and all of them were killed that evening: Henri Paul, who drove the Mercedes that crashed beneath the Place de l'Alma near the Seine River in Paris; Dodi Fayed, who was riding in the back seat, and Diana herself, who was sitting beside him.A massive three-year investigation of conspiracy theories surrounding those deaths, to be issued in London tomorrow by Lord Stevens, may not...
On this the day of the Grand Plan, such as it is, let's dream that a year from now there are a new set of givens in the Middle East growing out of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group: the United States, working with the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, has trained up an efficient military and police force.