Since today seems to be filled with some very fascinating scientific discoveries, I thought it is worth sharing them today!
Apocalypse Now? Not so much: Researchers have discovered that life on earth will actually end in about 16 million more years because earth passes through an asteroid field every 27 million years.
The Verdict is in: The chicken came first in the chicken and the egg question.
Today for “Afternoon Delight” I have decided to talk about some events in foreign affairs that I find interesting and some trends that need to be watched.
1. Germany’s Connections: Angela Merkel, the Prime Minister of Germany, decided to take a trip to Kazakhstan. There she is visiting with Russian and Chinese delegates. Most of the issues seem to revolve around trade, but she has decided to talk about democracy and human rights issues. What this means is that Germany is trying to revive its economic ties. As one of the largest exporters in Europe and the world, Germany uses economic ties as a means to gain diplomatic ground. This could be a crucial relationship for the U.S. to take advantage of. This is a good example of economic diplomacy, something that Germany is very good at.
2. Turkey’s relationships: This morning I talked about Turkey’s reigniting talks with the EU for admission. While most likely Turkey will be denied entry into the organization, it is also growing as an economic powerhouse. An article by the Associated Press states that Turkey is currently investing billions of dollars into construction projects across the Middle East. One of the main advantages Turkey has is that it is a western country and a Middle Eastern country. This gives Turkey a huge advantage when it pursues negotiations in the Middle East. Although its relations are at a low with Israel, it is a country that should be watched closely by the U.S.
3. Russia Moving Forward: Two stories caught my eye this morning in regards to Russia. The first was an Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman in which he found it an insult that the U.S. should be spied on by Russia and not a more advanced country. This argument is a bit insulting to U.S. because some countries obliviously see the U.S. as a great power with more to offer than Friedman realizes. Second is that President Medvedev has called a campaign this year to modernize his country. A story from the AFP says that Medvedev wants to crack down on corruption. These types of campaigns show that at least Russia is trying to fix its autocratic ways. It is a small step, but at least they are trying.
That is all for now. The main points here are that economic diplomacy is not a bad idea, as Germany and Turkey demonstrate and Russia is moving forward slightly.