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“I don’t want the country of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be largely Muslim, or for Turkish or Arabic to be spoken in large areas, that women will wear headscarves and the daily rhythm is set by the call of the muezzin. If I want to experience that, I can just take a vacation in the Orient.”

Although the worst has arguably passed at Fukushima, the dangers posed by Japan’s recent nuclear disaster have not yet passed. As the world watched with bated breath, a catastrophic nuclear meltdown was closely averted, but only by pouring tons of seawater into the reactors and hoping for the best. Recently, aftershocks of magnitudes reaching 7.1 threatened to destabilize the nuclear reactors and create fissures in the containment, releasing toxic water in the surrounding environs. The worst may be over, but the story hardly ends here.

When India gained its independence, the southern state of Kerala promised to be nothing but a headache for the new nation. Near the bottom in almost every indicator of development—literacy, health, general wellbeing—the state was a basket case. Yet over the span of fifty years everything had turned around, and suddenly officials in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram could boast some of the highest scores in general well-being not just in India but in the world.

On October 7, 2010 the peace of the Sufi shrine in Karachi, a building with green and white mosaics ascending to a cupola, shattered in a double explosion from two suicide bombers, killing seven civilians and injuring 65 others. As the shrine’s tiles lay smashed in the street, the destroyed temple provided a visual symbol of a derelict Pakistani government torn apart by a new wave of violent domestic terrorism.

China’s recent activity in Africa goes beyond the mere muscle-flexing and oil-grabbing tendencies of an emerging global power. In the last five years, media reports of China’s growing presence in Africa have increasingly reinforced and intensified Western fears of an unrestrainable imperialist state. Articles brandishing headlines such as “China’s Economic Invasion of Africa” and “Africa: China’s New Backyard” depict Africa as the victim of China’s rapacious neo-imperialism.

The age of the Arab dictator is over. The current wave of unrest sweeping the Middle East has deposed two dictators, spilt much blood and fundamentally shaken the status quo. Already, the movement that began with a few street demonstrations in Tunis has led to a regime change in Egypt and threatens to overthrow the monarchy in Bahrain, a military regime in Libya, a dictatorship in Yemen and many other governments throughout the region. What could possibly have caused this stunning political shockwave across the Arab world?

One of the most difficult elements of coping with terrorist attacks is managing the emotions that it elicits from victims. It is a simple enough argument to state that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be unbearable to the American people, but such an attack is inevitable-if not from abroad, then from the new crop of "home-grown" extremists materializing everywhere from Portland, Oregon, to Fort Hood, Texas. The future of terrorist attacks in the U.S. is not going to be on the scale of Sept. 11.

It is difficult to doubt today that China will ascend the power hierarchy and rise as a global superpower within the next century. News headlines constantly remind us of China's remarkable economic growth and increasing political clout. Particularly as the power of the United States appears to be waning, speculation of a Chinese 21st century runs rampant. Boasting a GDP growth rate of 9.6 percent and surpassing Japan as the world's second largest economy, China has unequivocally become an influential global power.

In July 2010, the monsoon rains began in Pakistan. Most people within Pakistan took the rains as a matter of course, ducking inside and waiting it out. But this time the rains did not stop. The waters crept over the banks of the Indus River, submerging farms and homes, destroying the livelihood of thousands. 1.2 million homes have either been damaged or destroyed; today 4 million Pakistanis are homeless; and 8 million remain dependent on aid, but as the effects of the flood gradually unfold, those numbers will almost inevitably rise.

Three years ago, 17-year-old Ogün Samast entered the upscale Sisli district of Istanbul, Turkey, wearing a white beret and carrying a gun. He turned onto the street of Sebat Sokak, reached the publishing house of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos, and waited. Moments later, when the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Hrant Dink stepped out, Samast shot him dead in broad daylight.

Historically, international legislation on the topic of gender equality has often sparked controversy and critical dismissal. The latest version of the debate on women’s rights has focused on the increasing prevalence of quotas for women leaders in both politics and business. Despite the obvious irony, it comes as no surprise that seven Indian MPs harassed Vice President Hamid Ansari on March 8, International Women’s Day, tearing up and throwing copies of the Women’s Reservation Bill at him while shouting anti-bill slogans.

Picture a world where the whistle of bullets drowns out the chirping of birds. Where army units patrol violent, poverty-stricken streets. Where farmers walk among fields of poppy, hoping a successful harvest will provide for their families. Where mothers of lost sons gather and pray that each new day may bring a resurrection of peace. This is not a distant snapshot, but a reality close to home. Welcome to the world of narcocultura. Welcome to Mexico.