Given the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, it would be wise for President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to dump Mr Tung and give Hong Kong a fresh start.
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) recently admitted that it was pushing back plans to put up a space-based missile defense test bed to at least 2008. But that does not mean the agency has given up on developing orbiting interceptors for shooting down enemy missiles in their boost-phase, shortly after their launch.
US policymakers should be proud of US-sponsored programs which broaden the range of participation for even limited numbers of people. But those of us engaged with Central Asia should not delude ourselves into believing that through "soft needling" we will get the ruling elites in these countries to modify the core practices at the heart of their regimes.
How much confidence can anyone have about intelligence estimates regarding North Korea's nuclear program, in light of the row over Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction? Unfortunately, the answer is not good. North Korea is widely considered by intelligence officers as the hardest target to crack in terms of reliable information, and there are political pressures at work within the Bush administration that raise the spectre that intelligence may also be used selectively to advance certain policy positions.
Attention to trade-related technical assistance and capacity building has surged as people from all walks of life explore how the global trade regime can be structured to better promote equitable, sustainable human development.
Reports indicate that samples taken by international inspectors in Iran reveal the presence of enriched uranium. If true, this could be the first hard evidence that Iran has purified uranium outside of safeguards and in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Article III of the NPT requires the full application of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards over all nuclear activities within a member country. Iran recently disclosed that it has been building a uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and claims it plans to place the facility under safeguards. The United States and others maintain that the plant is intended for the production of uranium for use in nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.
Over the past five years, the intelligence assessments and official warnings on Iraq's weapons capability followed a bell curve. From 1998 to 2001, they expressed a fairly low-level of concern about Iraqi programs. They rose dramatically in 2002, however, peaking in warnings about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program in 2003 at the start of the war, and then declined in the weeks and months after the war to lowered expectations about the size of the arsenals and fairly low-level concern about the use or transfer of these weapons or capabilities.
The Iraq War has drastically weakened Tony Blair's domestic position. If Washington forces Britain to choose between the United States and Europe, it may not choose the United States, and a collapse of the relationship with Britain would leave the United States without a single major Western ally. The consequences for U.S. power and influence in the world would be nothing short of disastrous.
The recent demonstrations in Hong Kong against a draconian national security bill and Tung Chee-hwa have led some observers to suggest that Hong Kong people are anti-Beijing. They are wrong. Far from being anti-Beijing, many of Hong Kong's residents are favourably disposed towards the Chinese leadership. That could change, though, if Beijing blocks the local reforms they are demanding.
After three months of United Nations inspections in Iraq by several hundred UN experts and three months of exhaustive searches by thousands of US, British and Australian soldiers and experts, the UN inspections now look much better than critics at the time claimed. This may have important implications for future inspection efforts. The intrusive inspections approach, while not as coercive as some wanted nor as forceful as the UN Security Council was prepared to go in the weeks before the war, now appears to have been working well in Iraq.
The proposed free trade zone with Central America will require an economic bargain that takes addresses the poverty and fragility of those economies. A poorly-constructed CAFTA will be a development disaster for Central America. A well-constructed CAFTA must take a gradual, developmental approach that allows the countries of the region to adjust at a pace that is bearable for their populations.
Since 9/11, the Bush administration has moved the issue of democracy higher on its Middle East agenda than has any previous US government. This represents a historic shift in the underpinnings of American strategic thinking on the Middle East. Washington has now linked terrorism against the US, religious extremism, and anti-American sentiment to the prevalence of authoritarian rule in the region.