Opinion

There is a distant rumble in the regional economy– one with a particularly Persian flair. Iranian commerce and exports are about to enter an unrestricted world market as part of the deal negotiated between Western partners and Iranian leadership over its nuclear enrichment program. If Iran can meet the terms of the agreement, sanctions on its exports and imports will be lifted within the next year. When such a large energy-producing economy goes from near autarky to free trade, this is bound to send ripples through the world economy. Georgia and the South Caucasus are in a prime position to benefit from increased Iranian trade, investment and tourism.

The FINANCIAL -- As Republicans take the stage in Cleveland for their first presidential primary debate tonight — with Donald Trump in the middle of it — one thing is already abundantly clear: A lot of voters are angry. Very angry. In fact, a lot of voters have been angry for some time. The phenomenon that we call “negative partisanship,” antipathy on the part of Democratic and Republican voters toward the opposing party and its leaders, has been on the rise since the 1980s, and today it is arguably the most salient feature of the political scene in the United States. Now voter ire appears to be shaping both parties’ 2016 presidential nomination races. The rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders in the Republican and Democratic nomination contests, respectively, is symptomatic of this increased anger in the American electorate.

The FINANCIAL -- "FROM the earliest days of Starbucks, I’ve been captivated by the art of leadership. I was mentored over three decades by Warren G. Bennis, the eminent professor and scholar on leadership. I’ve gathered insights from peers, and I’ve drawn inspiration from our 300,000 employees. But nothing I’ve read or heard in the past few years has rivaled the power of the image I viewed on my cellphone a few years ago: Pope Francis, shortly after his election, kneeling and washing the feet of a dozen prisoners in Rome, one of them a young Muslim woman, in a pre-Easter ritual."

The FINANCIAL -- One important way many Americans stay informed about politics, including the 2016 elections, is through conversations with others. About seven-in-ten U.S. adults talk with others about politics at least a few times a month, according to a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center. But a new analysis of survey data finds that whom they talk with most often about the subject varies a great deal between men and women.

The FINANCIAL -- President Obama's plan to exempt up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation remains tied up in court, but most voters still don’t think the United States is aggressive enough in deporting those who are here illegally.

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