A world of ideas. Commentary and comment on the day's biggest news and most important trends.
Here's a plan to end the conflict in Syria: support Assad
Commentary: The US should back Assad now, end the fighting, and set conditions for his departure and a democratic transition.
The EU is right about Western Sahara — which means it is wrong about Israel
Commentary: The European Union makes up its own rules for engaging with occupied territories.
Returning refugees from Kenya will destabilize Somalia
Commentary: International community must support Somalia’s efforts to provide physical safety and basic services.
It's time for Obama to show some backbone on Iran nuclear deal
Commentary: Kerry made a shrewd diplomatic move designed to win back French support at the negotiating table. Now Obama needs to make his case.
For a brief moment on Nov. 22, the White House became a backwater
Commentary: A young reporter found the president’s staff arguing over whether to order the American flag lowered.
Authorities in Hungary leave victims of domestic violence on their own
Commentary: European countries have adopted a landmark convention on preventing and combating domestic violence. But Hungary hasn't signed on.
Court ruling discriminates against Dominicans of Haitian descent
Commentary: A call for outrage from the global human rights community against racial discrimination in the Dominican Republic.
Attention shifts from Gaza, but silence won’t make this disaster disappear
Commentary: As aid is diverted to Syria, Gaza is known for little more than terrorists and tunnels.
5 things Rouhani can do to show Iran is serious about rapprochement
Commentary: Despite a show of courtesy, President Hassan Rouhani gives no sign of moderating Iran’s ideology.
Improving nature’s 'living infrastructure' can limit the impact of big storms
Commentary: The increasing threat of catastrophic storms coincides with an era of global austerity. But investment in coastal ecosystems will reduce risks.
Recalling monsters of the past, Germans find US spying repugnant
Commentary: Germans speak vehemently of disappointment with President Barack Obama.
With a limited commitment, Colombia begins removing buried land mines
Commentary: International support is essential for clearing millions of mines that continue to kill and maim.
What is journalism? Reports on a US spy agency run amok meet the test
Commentary: New, accurate, reliable information the public has a need to know and a right to know.
US diplomacy: How come everyone's mad at us?
Commentary: From a worldwide spying scandal to spurns by the Saudis, Washington is facing an onslaught of diplomatic challenges.
Tongue in cheek, here is how Ted Cruz became a Democratic mole
Commentary: Theories abound after Tea Party Republican Cruz helped lift Obama’s standing in so many ways.
20 percent women, 100 percent effective
Commentary: We can stop the cross-aisle squabbling by electing more women.
Support for oil-rich Azerbaijan is critical to Western interests
Commentary: In spite of a tainted election, efforts to establish democracy must continue.
In Tunisia, a glimmer of hope for a stable government
Commentary: The White House cannot make the same political miscalculation in Tunisia that it did in Egypt.
Why India and Pakistan must be united on health care
Commentary: Not surprisingly, India and Pakistan have nuclear bombs but few vaccines for insect-borne tropical diseases.
Tymoshenko’s deal sets stage for EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
Commentary: Unpopular Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych faces hard choices.
Teaching can get you killed at schools on the front lines
Commentary: Protections are needed for teachers bravely risking their lives amid conflict.
International Day of the Girl: The classroom is too crowded for refugee daughters
Commentary: A commitment to keeping girls in school is critical for development everywhere.
US shutdown: Is it worth impeaching the president to avoid default?
Commentary: Obama could soon face a choice among conflicting constitutional obligations.
Lessons for the Canadians as they mourn BlackBerry’s demise
Commentary: Change and competitors can disrupt the monopoly of even mighty innovative products.
Iran: Have sanctions finally paid off?
Analysis: After decades of cat-and-mouse economic punishment of Iran, the latest round may have hit home.
Justice is scarce in Arab countries where the rule of law is absent
Commentary: Democracy, it turns out, does not breed the rule of law; all indications are that it is the rule of law that breeds democracy.
At UN, Obama’s foreign policy speech signals giving peace a chance (VIDEO)
Commentary: The US president is ready to talk with Iranians in spite of resistance from the Saudis and Israel.
Myanmar: Will anyone speak up for the world's most persecuted minority?
Commentary: Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims continue to be targets of ethnic cleansing.
Misreading the domestic politics and mood of Iran over the years
Commentary: After years of negative views of Iran, reconciliation would be a hard sell in the US.
Westgate fallout: Kenya's 'island of peace' disrupted
Analysis: The Westgate Mall attack is a reminder that interventions, such as Kenya's invasion of Somalia, carry risk, particularly when they're perceived to be doing the West’s bidding.
EPA regulations give Obama standing to influence global climate action
Commentary: Regulation creates a moral argument for action by other countries on international climate policy.