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  • China’s reach for sage advice

    As the Communist Party launches its next five-year economic plan, it also seeks ancient Chinese virtues to restore morality in the party and society. In a new book, a leading ethicist explains what the party should do.

  • Of democracy saviors and the people

    A critical Nov. 8 election in Myanmar will provide a lesson for the world: that hopes for democracy should not be tied to one person (Aung San Suu Kyi) but should be embedded in the people and their demands for basic rights.

  • California’s useful model in water thrift

    As global talks heat up on a climate-change pact, models are needed on collective action to deal with environmental problems. California’s response to a record drought may be one.

  • Welcome the ‘gift economy’

    The sharing economy, driven by commercial platforms such as Uber, has also spurred new forms of charitable giving and free giveaways. A new mix of charity, consumption, and community defines its own economy.

  • How Canada can help save democracy

    The Liberals under Justin Trudeau won the Oct. 19 election by promising inclusive, respectful politics. With many democracies engaging in fear-mongering campaigns, Canada could set a model for a return to deliberative governance.

  • Why one Arab nation acts as peacemaker

    The way Algeria ended its violent civil war helps it act as a broker today in other conflicts, teaching that political solutions can quell terrorism.

  • Why the US will stay in an ‘endless war’

    For President Obama, supporting US interests in Afghanistan trumped keeping a campaign promise to leave.

  • Who killed the electric car? No one.

    Despite low gas prices, world automakers from Toyota to VW are moving ahead on nonpolluting vehicles.

  • The difficulty with drones

    Targeted killings are already an ethical tangle. And “swarming,” laser, and “vampire” drones are on the way.

  • Outlook brightens for a new generation of women at work

    A worldwide poll finds challenges from wage inequality to harassment. But it sees changes, too.

  • The Peace Prize’s lesson for civil society

    The Nobel Peace Prize went to four groups in Tunisia that prevented violence by mediating a political crisis with a message about individual dignity and equality.

  • Europe’s test of tolerance over Muslim influx

    Russia’s bombing of Syria may push millions more Muslims to flee toward Europe, forcing the Continent to quell anti-Muslim bigotry and reinforce the concept of citizenship based on inclusivity.

  • The outrageous fortune of fantasy sports

    The rising popularity of ‘daily fantasy sports,’ driven mainly by those gambling on imaginary teams, is now under scrutiny. Government officials must avoid the tired debate over whether such games are ones of skill or ‘luck.’

  • How Europe, US can solve Internet privacy

    Europe’s highest court ends an agreement that allows data to flow freely between the EU and the US. Both sides must now find ways to build trust into data collection and lower fears of a loss of privacy.

  • The value, and values, of a Pacific trade pact

    Nearly a decade in the making, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will shape up-to-date rules for 40 percent of the world economy. Its benefits are mainly in tying the US, Japan, and others to set the highest values for global commerce. 

  • Oregon shooting: Is it time for national peacemaking?

    The mass shooting at an Oregon school again raises frustrations about the level of gun violence. Perhaps the focus should be on peace as something other than the absence of violence.

  • Will a humbled VW now adopt a leadership model of humility?

    Volkswagen’s emissions-deception scandal has exposed a culture of corporate hubris. Leadership experts say arrogance often brings down great companies. Can VW alter its culture to one that listens and learns?

  • The wafting influence of nonsmokers’ rights

    The number of nonsmokers worldwide keeps rising, a result in large part of a focus on the right to clean air. A basic freedom to breathe more easily helps many people to either quit smoking or not start up at all.

  • Lessons from UN development goals

    For its 70th anniversary, the UN adopted new social and economic goals for 2030, building on the successes of goals set for 2015. Expecting good results seems to be working, although Africa offers critical lessons.

  • How colleges can measure up in teaching ‘critical thinking’

    A new project shows professors can design ways to assess the success of colleges in teaching ‘critical thinking skills.’ Yet early results show students need colleges to better produce that important ‘learning outcome.’

 
 
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