North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives his annual New Year’s address in an undisclosed location in North Korea. (KRT via Associated Press Video)
Opinion writer

It’s a start. “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday announced a series of proposed new laws that would reform how the state handles sexual harassment and reporting policies in the workplace.”

It’s hard to start talks when you demand capitulation beforehand. “‘So North Korea can talk with anyone they want but the US is not going to recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have.'”

The West can start by publicizing Iranian expenditures on wars. “Iran’s costly efforts to project power beyond its borders in the wider Middle East are now exacting a political price at home. In a six-day flurry of antigovernment demonstrations, a focal point of protester anger has been the billions of dollars Iran has spent on foreign conflicts at a time when domestic inflation and unemployment are in double digits.”

This might be the start of a retirement deluge. “House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster announced Tuesday that he’s stepping down at the end of his term. . . . Shuster survived a closer-than-expected primary in 2016 by political novice Art Halvorson.”

President Trump starts the year by congratulating himself for no aviation deaths in 2017. “The president’s claim can’t withstand even slight scrutiny. The 2017 milestone is worth celebrating, but changes in statistics like air safety are achieved over long time scales, and given the small number of crashes involved, minor deviations in the number are unlikely attributable to any specific presidential action—especially one take in the just under a year Trump has been in office.” No word on whether he accepts blame for hundreds of deaths in train accidents around the world or thousands of drunk-driving fatalities.

Americans start the year expecting the worst in international affairs. “As Americans look ahead to 2018, eight in 10 predict it will be a troubled year filled with international discord rather than peace. The public is more optimistic about the economy, with a slight majority anticipating a year of economic prosperity. Americans split evenly on whether U.S. power in the world will increase or decline.”

North Korea starts opening a wedge between the United States and our allies. “South Korea Proposes Border Talks With North Korea After Kim’s Overture.”