David Letterman Probably Skipped This One

Foreign Policy Magazine has compiled a list of underreported stories from this past year entitled "The Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2004". It's a good collection:

  1. Nous Sommes Tous Chinois - France's collusion with China in its intimidation of Taiwan
  2. The Eurotaxman Cometh - The European Union sacks its taxation commissioner after she raises questions about financial irregularities
  3. Not Iraqification, but Kurdification - Increasingly, the only Iraqi troops that U.S. forces trust are Kurdish
  4. Putin to Kvashnin: “You’re Fired!” - Putin boots the army's chief of staff
  5. North Korea—Not Quite Dead - North Korea has quietly introducing free-market reforms to its economy
  6. Pakistan’s Musharraf Stays in Uniform - Musharraf was supposed to quit as President and head of the army at the end of the year. He didn't.
  7. Busting the Bunker Busters - Plans for low-yield nukes die in Congress and give rogue nations an easy way to protect their assets from air power
  8. Warding off the Oil Curse - Chad became an oil exporter and struck a deal with the World Bank requiring the nation to reinvest 80% of the revenues in improving infrastructure and fighting poverty.
  9. Playing it Seif - Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi appears to a have a progressive son. Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar’s second son, lobbied his father to end the standoff with the West and says that Libyan Jews persecuted in the past are entitled to compensation.
  10. A Wounded Military - Wounded soldiers have a much better chance of surviving today than in the past, but the costs - financial and human - of so many debilitating injuries may be staggering
The FP piece does not offer an in-depth examination of the issues on the list; I'm looking at it as a jumping-off point for a lot of future googlewerk and perhaps the subjects of blog posts to come.