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Herds of Asian elephants in Malaysia's Taman Negara National Park in Pahang state are apparently larger than feared, according to an examination of the dung they leave behind.

A dilemma for Jumbo

Liberty and freedom are man’s natural desires, but like everything else liberation is complicated, as man and elephant are learning in Myanmar, or Burma as it was called for centuries. Myanmar is making its way back into the real world after sitting it out in isolation for almost a hundred years.

President Barack Obama closes his eyes while a prayer is made at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The annual event brings together U.S. and international leaders from different parties and religions for an hour devoted to faith. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The profits of doom

“Doomsayer” is probably not on Al Gore’s resume but it’s as descriptive as “almost president.” It perfectly describes the attention he has attracted in the decade since he took to the stage at the Sundance Film Festival and set off global warming fears with his agitprop film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the deployment of S-400 missiles in Syria as he and other officials in Moscow escalated a war of words with Ankara after Tuesday's shootdown, which Turkey claims was justified on grounds that two Russian fighters ignored repeated warnings to change direction after entering Turkish airspace. (Associated Press)

The threat to peace accelerates

Despite his deteriorating economy, Russia’s Vladimir Putin is taking an increasingly aggressive tone of support for the Assad regime in Syria. He has tried to keep the Damascus corpse alive but can show little evidence of success against his opponents, some of whom have ties to international Islamic terrorism.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, poses for photographs after a campaign event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Looking for the magic

Iowa isn’t about actually winning, but persuading the political correspondents and prospective voters in the states following to think they see a winner. It’s not even about delegates won, or the order in which a candidate finishes, but whether the result can be spun as a victory.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at a town hall in Sioux City, Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The scramble for the top

The Iowa caucuses rarely produce the winner in November, but they always produce panic in the camps of the losers. It’s an exaggeration to say the caucuses Monday night decided anything but temporary winners, but winning is always better than losing.

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Winston Churchill (Associated Press)

A Christmas wish for peace

I spend this anniversary and festival far from my country, far from my family, yet I cannot truthfully say that I feel far from home. Whether it be the ties of blood on my mothers side, or the friendships I have developed here over many years of active life, or the commanding sentiment of comradeship in the common cause of great peoples who speak the same language, who kneel at the same altars and, to a very large extent, pursue the same ideals, I cannot feel myself a stranger here in the centre and at the summit of the United States. I feel a sense of unity and fraternal association which, added to the kindliness of your welcome, convinces me that I have a right to sit at your fireside and share your Christmas joys.

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press briefing room at the White House, in Washington, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama's conflicting foreign policies

Barack Obama seems to have not one, but two foreign policies, just when everyone thought he had none. He runs one out of the White House, and the other out of the Pentagon. Or maybe there's a third foreign policy from Foggy Bottom.

In this Dec. 19, 2015, photo. Hillary Clinton speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Using a savvy social media campaign, in-person pleas and pithy T-shirts, three Iowa high school students have successfully lobbied Clinton to visit their small town. Clinton will appear Dec. 22 in Keota, a town of about a thousand people in southeast Iowa. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

How loose lips sink a ship

Donald Trump, with his usual delicacy and tact, calls Hillary Clinton a "liar," and her own words prove it. She has a habit, to the fear and fury of her campaign, of saying whatever pops into her pretty head, with no thought whether it's true, sort of true, could be true, or she merely wishes were true. It's a dangerous habit that can sink a ship, or a presidential campaign.

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. European Union heads of state met Thursday to discuss, among other issues, the current migration crisis and terrorism. (AP Photo/Francois Walschaerts)

European compromise in the air

Chancellor Angela Merkel has often been the adult in the European Union, but her early open arms for the waves of migrants seems now be a welcome mat too far. The Hungarians and the Poles, for two important member states, have different ideas, preferring not to take the share of migrants that Frau Merkel thinks they should.

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

When factoids rule

All presidents, Republican and Democrat alike, trim the facts and coin an occasional "factoid," Norman Mailer's memorable description of something that looks like a fact, sounds like a fact, but in fact is not a fact. Barack Obama has raised the art to science.

In this Sept. 5, 2015, photo, a pump jack pumps oil on a hill above Alexander, N.D, and the town's school.  The U.S., seemingly awash in crude oil after an energy boom sent thousands of workers scurrying to the plains of Texas and North Dakota, will begin exporting oil for the first time since the 1973 oil embargo. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine)

Trading glut for jobs

A compromise on the 40-year-old ban on oil exports is working through the toils of Congress, and in exchange for liberating oil the Republicans have agreed to put more money into "green energy" subsidies. It's not the best of solutions; green energy has so far enriched mostly crony capitalists.

President Barack Obama delivers a statement at Indian Springs High School after meeting with families affected by the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in San Bernardino. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Diogenes finds his man

Diogenes can take his lamp and go home to ancient Athens, satisfied that an honest man has emerged in the Obama administration. Alan Bersin, an assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told a House oversight panel last week that using the government's various "no fly lists" to deny Americans the right to buy a gun is nonsense.

In this Dec. 15, 2015, photo, Ted Cruz makes a point during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Locher)

The clowns went missing

When the debate stage went dark in Las Vegas the other night, the spinning continued. Every candidate claimed to have won. Some of the claims were more credible than others. With the first test in Iowa hard upon us, at last the game is on.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen Town, east China's Zhejiang Province, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (Chinatopix via AP) CHINA OUT

The Chinese enigma

The modern culture of China sometimes resembles something less than a conventional nation-state, and with a billion and a half people it inevitably tries to move in different and sometimes conflicting directions. The United States must hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The worst could be a conflict over basic American interests, not least the freedom of the seas on which all maritime nations rest.

FILE - This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The attorney for Bergdahl, who was released in exchange for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, says the soldier's case has been referred for trial by a general court-martial.  (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)

Obama's Bergdahl blunder

Honor is a virtue that stands apart; dishonor is more recognizable still. President Obama and his aides tried to cover Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in glory, even receiving his parents at the White House. But contradictions in his story of captivity in Afghanistan have overturned the narrative. Sgt. Bergdahl now faces a general court martial and similarly, Mr. Obama's exchange of terrorists imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for his return is weighed in the court of public opinion.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Decorating the spending tree

This is the Christmas season and nobody decorates a Christmas tree like Congress. The Republicans can get as deep into the Washington spirit of Christmas as any Democrat. House Speaker Paul Ryan and his negotiators will ask their Republican colleagues to vote Friday on a spending bill that will cost billions and run through the end of 2016.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that owners will have to register many small drones with the government in response to increasing reports of them flying near manned aircraft and airports. (Associated Press)

Dunning the drones

They soar overhead by the thousands, without regard for the safety of anyone on the ground or in the air. They climb among the clouds and describe death-defying dives toward the earth. Sometimes they crash into houses and cars, and harass and "bomb" unsuspecting pedestrians. (No offense meant.)

President Obama (Associated Press)

Obama's blindness to Christian persecution

The official and public indifference to the continued persecution and murder of Christians in the Middle East is a scandal of enormous proportions. Only a few Internet websites are devoted to the rescue of persecuted Christians. The media, like the president, is blind to outrage.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, shakes hand with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after signing of agreements, in New Delhi, India , Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. India and Japan have signed agreements on military purchases for India's armed forces, high-speed trains and upgrading India's infrastructure.They also reached an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, with the final deal to be signed after technical details are finalized.(AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

A romance in Asia

For the dreamers in Foggy Bottom, always on the scout for match-making, Japan and India have seemed natural candidates for a romance. Japan's highly industrialized economy needs markets and raw materials, and a slowly industrializing India has the resources in abundance.

President Obama (Associated Press)

The figment of affordable health care

Buying something without knowing the price is foolish. President Obama sold Obamacare to America by hiding the price tag, and five years later it's clear that there's still no such thing as a free lunch, or free health-care insurance, either.

President Barack Obama speaks about the Paris climate agreement from the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

More dangerous than ever

There's fundamental change afoot in the Middle East, and it's obscured by the behavior of the Obama administration, which is suspended between contradiction and confusion. Barack Obama has one strategy of telling everyone that the American military option is "off the table" while a second strategy incrementally increases U.S. special forces on the ground and more bombing from the air.

Pope Francis celebrates a mass on the occasion of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe festivity in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The Vatican's global warming guru

Environmentalist hysteria has put some strange combinations in bed together. Pope Francis is obviously a good man armed with good intentions, but, however worthy he may be as a leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, he's in over his head as a scientific doomcrier trying to render global warming into something more theological than scientific.

President Obama mostly watched as the Islamic State, defeated by U.S. forces in 2009, reassembled the old al Qaeda in Iraq leadership apparatus across the border amid the turmoil of the Syrian civil war. (Associated Press)

A new partnership with Singapore

The Obama government will sign a new military cooperation agreement this week with Singapore, and that's important for several good reasons. It's an upgrading of one of the most important American logistics and surveillance operations. Singapore is essential to the U.S. Navy's forward positions in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump smiles as he has his photograph taken with supporters after being endorsed at a regional police union meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

No room for reason at the White House

On the day the president's Rasputin, Valerie Jarrett, announced that her boss would by executive order require universal background checks for all gun buyers, despite congressional rejection of such a scheme, the White House called any Republican presidential candidate who refuses to denounce Donald Trump as unfit to be president.

President Barack Obama speaks in Emancipation Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, during an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment that abolished slavery. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Of arms and the man

The greatest gun salesman in America would probably never own one. Anyone who travels with a squad of heavily armed security men doesn't need one. As the most powerful man in the world, Barack Obama detests anything that empowers the individual, and this requires persuading his constituents they need not take responsibility for their own protection.