But this is no ordinary disputeand no ordinary country. And so late last week, the North warned that it might bolster its "self-defense deterrent"a euphemism for nuclear weapons. Estimates now suggest that it could have cooked up enough plutonium for as many as 12 bombs. Japan's foreign minister is worried that North Korea might now issue more demands. If so, critics of the administration approach can be counted on to intensify their opposition. In any case, one of the moments when North Korean intentions will be tested appears to be at hand.
Haven't We Been Here Before?
There was a bit of political déjà vu in Israel last week as two veteran figures achieved posts they earlier had tried and failed to win. Elder statesman, former prime minister, and Nobel peace laureate Shimon Peres, 83, was elected by the Knesset to the largely ceremonial post of president, capping his lifetime at the center of Israel politics. And former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, 65, made a comeback as Labor Party leader and defense minister in the current centrist government.
Populous China's Name Shortage
The problem: too many people and not enough different names. As a result, China may soon try to reduce name confusion in a country where most of the 1.3 billion people share just 100 family surnames. For instance, 93 million Chinese have the surname Wang, the most common, and 92 million have the surname Li. A newborn can take the surname of either the father or mother, but now officials are considering also permitting a combined surname, such as Wangli or Liwang.
With Thomas Omestad, Mitchell Prothero and Associated Press