I usually turn to the sports pages for some light relief from the cares of the world. But the euro-crisis is not so easy to get away from. Reading an account of Arsenal’s preparations for their away game in Germany tonight, I saw that their revered manager, Arsene Wenger, is thinking about more than the state of Jack Wilshere’s ankle. At yesterday’s press conference, he mused – “I believe that Europe overall, as a unit, is going towards a massive crisis, which nobody really expects now. I am convinced that Europe will go into a huge financial crisis within the next three weeks or three months and maybe that will put everything into perspective again.” Read more
Since the eruption of Syria’s uprising six months ago, one thing has been clear, for the protestors and the world alike: there would be no international military intervention to get rid of Bashar al-Assad.
Syrians are far too nationalistic to accept anything resembling outside military involvement, the argument went, and the Libya mission was too messy, too fraught with risk, to be attempted again. Read more
China’s definition of what constitutes its “core interest” appears to be spreading. Such interests used to be confined to a few areas, about which the Communist party would brook absolutely no dissenting view. These included its national security, national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Tibet, where there is a strong separatist element, quite obviously forms part of China’s definition of territorial integrity. So does the island of Taiwan, ceded to Japan in 1895, and now a self-governed democracy. Beijing has made clear that, if Taiwan were ever to declare formal independence, it would invade. More recently, the term has been applied to Xinjiang, the huge area of western China that has been the scene of clashes between local Muslims and Han Chinese. Read more
By Gideon Rachman
This week marks not just the tenth anniversary of 9/11 – it is also the third anniversary of 9/15, the day when Lehman Brothers collapsed. But while world politics is no longer dominated by the “war on terror”, a different form of terror is stalking the world’s financial markets.