michaelmosettig.newIn a sea of academic gowns on Harvard Lawn, he stood out, erect of military bearing, in a civilian gray suit. 

George C. Marshall was one of four illustrious honorary degree recipients on June 5, 1947.  He had been the military and logistics architect of the allied victories in World War II and was now serving as Secretary of State for President Harry S Truman. The others were Robert Oppenheimer, creator of the atomic bomb; General Omar Bradley and poet T.S. Eliot. But it would be Marshall’s brief speech at an alumni lunch following the commencement ceremonies that would make history. 

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paul horneOnce again, the euro survived a crucial electoral test and strengthened in financial markets clearly relieved that the world’s second reserve currency will carry on despite populist politicians pandering to voters blaming economic stagnation and high unemployment on the European Union and the euro. The euro’s bounce against the dollar came just hours after the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday, April 23, resulted in Emmanuel Macron, a pro-European centrist; and Marine Le Pen, head of the hard right and anti-European Front National, winning through to the run-off vote on May 7.

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michaelwhite

Conscientious Americans, eager to be distracted from President Trump’s latest diplomatic salvo, his threat to “solve North Korea” unilaterally if China doesn’t sort it out, may take comfort from a Ruritanian version of sabre rattling diplomacy which vied for European headlines as the week began. Another Falklands war!  Another Spanish Armada!  Like much else, the Gibraltar question would be funny if it wasn’t serious.

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aliaslanTurkey’s autocratic president Recep Tayyip Erdogan added another critical, albeit controversial electoral win to his column last Sunday. A referendum officially changing the regime from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential system with little or no checks and balances passed with a narrow margin (51-49 percent).

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BrianBeary.new1Brexit may be about to claim another casualty: the devolved Northern Ireland government. 

First results in the snap elections Thursday for the Northern Ireland Assembly suggest a surge in support for the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein Party whose long-term goal is to reunify the northern and southern parts of Ireland. Sinn Fein’s wins come partly at the expense of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the pro-UK party that leads the devolved Northern Ireland government created under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

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