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  • Give winter a big hug

    Tromsø, Norway, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, may provide lessons on how to enjoy cold and snow.

  • The underreported good news

    Stories of the world’s challenges abounded in 2015. But longer, deeper trend lines that show progress need reporting too.

  • A firmer footing for ‘football’

    Under FIFA international soccer has grown corrupt. Will 2016 provide a turnaround?

  • A Muslim cleric’s lasting legacy of peace

    Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent advocate of nonviolent dissent brought a largely nonviolent reaction among Shiites in the Middle East. The region needs a renewal of peaceful means of protest.

  • When an election is not just about who governs

    After a violent civil conflict between Christians and Muslims, the Central African Republic voted peacefully for a new government. The mere act of casting a vote sent a message of support for equality, and with it a desire to return to social harmony.

  • The measure of progress against Islamic State

    The retaking of Ramadi by Iraqi forces was only possible after some reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites. That healing process begins in interfaith dialogues, which are underway in the holy city of Najaf.

  • The ‘healing’ aspect of a Japan-South Korea pact on ‘comfort women’

    The agreement brings restitution and an official apology to 46 Korean women – and also a shared recognition of each nation’s role in rising above differences toward working together in Asia.

  • A bright hope for 2016: India and Pakistan reconcile

    A surprise visit on Christmas Day between the leaders of India and Pakistan hint at a mutual desire to no longer let historic tensions hinder their drive against poverty.

  • A special Christmas in Bethlehem

    Visits to the holy Christian site are down, a result of renewed violence, but the restoration of a medieval church in Bethlehem hints at the message of light and peace needed to end the violence.

  • A lesson for Europe in Spain’s startling election

    The Dec. 20 election shook up Spanish politics with a youthful vote for two new parties. With nearly half of young people unemployed, a new government must show the rest of Europe how to reduce a fear of economic innovation.

  • The Christmas message at work everywhere

    With 1 in 122 persons displaced by conflict, the giving spirit toward strangers is more needed than ever. This Christmas, Christians will again reflect the generous spirit found in the humble coming of Christ in a manger. As one global survey finds, humility often drives giving.

  • Africa outshines UN in protecting civilians

    While the UN Security Council allows Syria to slide further toward sectarian genocide, the African Union acts boldly to prevent mass atrocities in Burundi – under the UN's own doctrine of ‘responsibility to protect.’

  • The UN's faith in Libyan peacemongers

    To reach a deal signed Thursday, the UN focused on people in Libya most interested in peace, not just the most powerful that rule parts of the country. This bottom-up approach, if it works, is a model in diplomacy.

  • Pakistan’s self-reflection, a year after its deadliest terror attack

    On Dec. 16, Pakistan marked the first anniversary of a Taliban attack that killed more than 100 children. The nation has since stiffened against militants, while some question the quick labeling of terrorists as ‘not Muslim.’

  • The integrity at the heart of Brazil’s anti-corruption sweep

    A few youthful and often US-educated prosecutors have unearthed Brazil’s largest corruption scandal by challenging a deep culture of impunity. They are a model for other nations also in need of honest governance.

  • What Saudi women voting says of the Mideast

    Given their first chance to vote, more than 80 percent of Saudi women showed up at the polls Dec. 12. The social trends that were behind the Arab Spring are alive and well, pointing to a different future in the Middle East than one of war and Islamic caliphates.

  • Paris pact on climate change: What’s fear got to do with it?

    Fearmongering took a back seat to other tactics during the Paris negotiations. The result: a universal agreement with historic goals relying more on trust, humility, and compassion.

  • Coming clean on corruption’s links to pollution

    A common link lies in VW’s emissions cheating and the air-quality alerts in China, India, and Indonesia. Arrogant dishonesty can lead to pollution. As VW now admits, leaders must learn to act with humility.

  • Does Islamic State have a heart? Red Cross hopes so.

    The international Red Cross is trying to persuade Islamic State to let in neutral aid workers to treat millions of civilians. The effort is part of a broader and needed effort to get all states and nonstate actors to comply with humanitarian law.

  • In Venezuela, a need for magnanimity in victory

    An election provides a stunning win for pro-democracy forces over a domineering ruler. Now Venezuela, with the world’s worst-performing economy, needs handshakes across a big political divide to make reforms.

 
 
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