|Red Flashes From Syria|
|SIX months after the Syrian
uprising began it seems clear
that peaceful protests aimed at
overthrowing the regime and
ousting President Bashar al-
Assad have failed. With no prospect of
meaningful national dialogue in sight,
the conflict now appears to be shifting
into a new, infinitely more hazardous
phase: the weaponisation of the revolution.
Syria is moving inexorably from
Arab spring to an ever darker, dangerous
winter of discontent.
The inability of unarmed civilian
demonstrators to bring down Assad, or
at least bring him to the negotiating
table, has several causes. One is the
lack of a unified, well-led opposition
with clear objectives...
|THE LOST DECADE &
FUTURE OF AMERICA|
|IF you want a big swig of
despair, listen to the people
who know something about
the global economy. Roger
Altman, a former deputy
Treasury secretary, is arguing that
America and Europe are on the
verge of a disastrous double-dip
recession. Various economists say
it will be at least another three
years before we see serious job
growth. Others say European
banks are teetering - if not now,
then early next year.
Walter Russell Mead, who teaches
foreign policy at Bard College,
recently laid out some worst-case
scenarios on his blog: "It is about
whether the international financial
system will survive the next six
months in the form we now... |
Obama advises students to work hard in classes
AP WASHINGTON PRESIDENT Barack Obama is encouraging students to work hard in their classes, saying the country is counting on them.
In his prepared remarks, Obama urged students of Washington’s Benjamin Banneker Academic High School on Wednesday to pursue higher education after school. He said that that in tough economic times, the country needs your ideas and passion.
His back-to-school address will be televised live and carried online.
“Whether we fall behind or race ahead in the coming years is up to you,” he says.
Obama also confesses that he wasn’t always the best student and didn’t love every class he took.
“I’ll let you in on another secret: I still don’t always know the answers,” he says.
“But if I’d have just tuned out because the class sounded boring, I might have missed out on something that I enjoyed and something that’s still useful to me today.” Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, a magnet school that opened in 1981, is designed to provide a rigorous academic background in preparation for college.
The White House released the text of the president’s message the night before his speech to defuse any potential charges that he would be giving a political speech to the nation’s schoolchildren.
Two years ago, some conservatives accused Obama of bringing politics into the classroom with a similar back-to-school speech.
Last week, Obama announced his administration will allow states to apply for waivers around unpopular proficiency standards in the No Child Left Behind education law. To qualify, states must meet conditions such as setting evaluation standards for teachers and principals and imposing their own standards to prepare students for college and careers.