Thursday on Lubbock's First News, Tibor Nagy, Vice Provost of International Affairs at Texas Tech University, made international observations about the past year and  predictions for the new.

Nagy listed general trends seen over the past year. He noted the failure of the presidential administration to take care of crises. He said he views the U.S. as an ostrich: "I look at the current administration as one that likes to bury its head in the sand." He believes those in charge of foreign policy in the U.S. did poorly with Syria and Iran, failing to facilitate relationships and was unresponsive to crises.

Nagy listed the big winners and loser of 2013 and predicted those for 2014. He observed that for 2013, Vladimir Putin was the big winner and Obama was the big loser. He focused on Obama's handling of the situation in Syria. Nagy said, "for him, Syria was an unmitigated disaster." He predicted the major winner of 2014 would be Assad because he has now become the "least of the bad guys." He predicted Kim Jong Un to be the winner of the new year, based upon the death of his uncle and progress toward consolidation of power in Korea. However, Nagy felt this could also take a turn for the worst, leaving the leader as the loser of the year.

Nagy also talked about his optimistic expectations for Africa in the new year, along with Mexico's progress with petroleum, which could help boost the economy. He commented on Israel and Palestine, with John Kerry's negotiation efforts that Nagy feels may lead to nowhere. In addition, Nagy predicted China's future may include "some unanticipated incident which actually could lead to some violence," as a result of conflict with Japan. Ending on a positive note, Nagy stated his belief that 2014 will present the best world economy since 2007, showing growth in the U.S., Europe, and China. For more details, listen to the full interview.

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Or listen on your mobile device: KFYO LFN Tibor Nagy January 09 2014 //