(Via World Hum.)
HONG KONG: It’s the end of the era of the white man.
I know your head is spinning. The world can feel like one of those split-screen TVs with images of a suicide bombing in Baghdad flashing, and the latest awful market news coursing along the bottom, and an ad for some stool-loosening wonder drug squeezed into a corner.
The jumble makes no sense. It just goes on, like the mindless clacking of an ice dispenser.
On the globalized treadmill, you drop your eyes again from the screen (now showing ads for gourmet canine cuisine) to the New Yorker or Asahi Shimbun. And another bomb goes off.
There’s a lot of noise and not much signal. Everywhere there is flux and the reaction to it: the quest, sometimes violent, for national or religious identity. These alternate faces of globalization – fluidity and tribalism – define our frontier-dissolving world.
But in all the movement back and forth, basic things shift. The world exists in what Paul Saffo, a forecaster at Stanford University, calls “punctuated equilibrium.” Every now and again, an ice cap the size of Rhode Island breaks off.
The breaking sound right now is that of the end of the era of the white man…
Read the whole thing.
What does ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s recent return to Thailand mean for Manchester City, the English Premier League team he purchased during his exile? What does his return mean for football (soccer) in Thailand?
That was the subject of an AFP story that I wrote last week.
You can find it on Yahoo News here: “Thaksin return raises hopes of Thai fans.”
It’s been a tense week in the Andes. On Saturday, Colombian forces launched a surprise raid on a camp inside the Ecuador border and killed a senior FARC member. The result has been an ongoing diplomatic kerfuffle between Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.
AFP has a run-down of the events: “Regional tensions rise after Colombia raid into Ecuador.”
And the NY Times‘s Simon Romero narrates a video report about the incident.
Meanwhile, Bolivia expert Miguel Centellas discusses a Bolivian dimension to the story.
Reuters has some analysis on the political implications for the region: “Andean crisis shakes hopes for regional unity.”
And as for Thailand…
Today we learned that a Russian man alleged to be a notorious arms dealer was arrested here in Thailand yesterday. He is accused of selling arms to al Qaeda and the Taliban, and he was lured to Bangkok by American DEA agents…posing as FARC members looking to buy weapons.