New UN Chief Heads an Organization That Faces Both Skepticism and Support
When Ban Ki-moon of South Korea placed his left hand on the Charter of the United Nations and was sworn in as its eighth Secretary General, he assumed control of an organization viewed with dramatically varying degrees of respect, skepticism and indifference by the countries of the world.
The Putin Popularity Score
Is Vladimir Putin a new breed of postmodern, post-communist populist or an old-style dictator in democratic clothing? It’s a question currently being debated with even more urgency as the investigation widens into the bizarre poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Soviet spy and outspoken critic of the Russian president.
Turkey: Troubled Terrain for Pope Benedict
The Pontiff’s diplomatic skills may well be tested as he visits a country where negative views of Christians and the West are on the rise.
Europeans Debate the Scarf and the Veil
Government leaders in the Netherlands reignited the debate over veils and head scarves when they announced plans for legislation that would ban the full-face veil. A Pew survey found that European publics are divided on head scarf bans.
Bush Visits Indonesia
In Indonesia, where President Bush travels early next week after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, America’s image has undergone some dramatic ups and downs over the last few years.
Are National Polls Reliable Predictors of Midterm Elections?
National elections are the high season for pollsters and with Election Day now less than two weeks away, new polls on the fight for Congress are being released nearly every day. Commonly, pollsters use something called the “generic ballot” to assess the state of the congressional race. Just how accurate is the “generic ballot” in predicting election results?
Publics of Asian Powers Hold Negative Views of One Another
Traditional rivals in Asia continue to look at each other with deep suspicion and concern, especially China and Japan. The Japanese worry about China’s increasing military power, while the Chinese believe Japan has yet to atone for its militaristic past.
Support for a Female Heir in Japan
With the news today that Japan’s 39-year-old Princess Kiko has given birth to a male heir, Japan’s succession crisis has passed. But a recent Pew Global Attitudes survey found that a large majority of the Japanese public favored changing the law so that a female could rule.
Parental Pressure on Students: Not Enough in America; Too Much in Asia
Americans think parents here are too lax; Asians think parents there are too tough.
In Great Britain, Muslims Worry About Islamic Extremism
Even before British authorities announced they had thwarted a terrorist plot to blow up airplanes, many people in Britain – including Muslims – were very concerned about Islamic extremism.