The people of
Hong Kong are protesting the decision by
the Communist Chinese government not to allow an open list of candidates to
stand for election for the special territory’s executive. After China
took control of the British-leased territory in 1997, it had promised Hong Kong that it could maintain its liberty and free
market system, as well as representative self-government. A similar promise was made to
Portuguese-leased Macau, which reverted to
Chinese control two years later. China has appointed Hong
Kong’s leaders since that time, but has broken its promise of
transitioning to elective representative self-governance by insisting that
candidates it opposes be excluded from eligibility from being popularly elected
to the territory’s government. Freedom-loving
people around the world should stand with the people of Hong
Kong against totalitarianism.
The newly-inaugurated Afghan government has signed an agreement that will allow nearly 10,000
United States troops to remain in Afghanistan for
up to two years after the significant drawdown of American forces at the end of
2014. The residual force is necessary to
avoid the mistake made by President Barack Obama in not leaving such a force in
which allowed the al-Qaeda offshoot, the “Islamic State,” to ally with Baathist
holdouts in seizing territory to establish a terrorist safe haven, as
predicted. The U.S. and its NATO allies
continue to battle Taliban and al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan front of
the War on Terrorism in order to prevent them from reestablishing a safe haven
in Afghanistan, from which the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks were planned.
The troop agreement came after the resolution of
presidential election dispute, in which the U.S. brokered a power-sharing
deal. Its long-time ally, Abdullah,
formerly of Northern Alliance, will be second
in command. The U.S. had recognized the Northern Alliance, which
controlled northeastern Afghanistan,
as the de jure government of Afghanistan,
not the Taliban, with which it fought.
In a recent referendum, Swiss voters opted against socialized health insurance, in favor of maintaining their private insurance system. The negative example of the federalization of health insurance (“Obamacare”) in the
probably influenced the outcome of the referendum in Switzerland. Supporters of socialized health insurance
usually cite Europe as an example to emulate,
which makes especially noteworthy the Swiss rejection of such a scheme.
The warring parties in
South Sudan have reportedly agreed
in principle to a power-sharing agreement.
It is hoped it will end the violence that has soaked the fledgling state