August 11th, 2014
12:56 PM ET

And now for the good news

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

Wherever you look these days, the world seems like it’s on fire.

New hot spots like Russia and Ukraine are competing with the old ones like Gaza and festering conflicts like those in Syria and Iraq – especially Iraq – are getting much worse. Even Afghanistan, which seemed in better shape than the other places, had a setback this past week.

So, is there any good news out there? In fact, there is. Some of the most important countries in the world are making remarkable progress, affecting at least 1.5 billion people.

Let's start with Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world – it has more Muslims than Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and all the Gulf States put together. Only 10 years ago, the great fear was that Islamic militants were taking over the country, that it was an economic mess, and an unreliable crisis spot in the region. The country has defied all skeptics and last month it took a big step forward, with the election of Joko Widodo marking the consolidation of Indonesia's democracy…

…The other encouraging election this year has been in the world’s second most populous country: India. The country has been mired in deadlock and paralysis for years because of a weak coalition government, ineffectual leadership, and an obstructionist opposition. So people voted for a single party to take power, for the first time in 30 years and gave the new prime minister, Narendra Modi, a mandate…

…So that is what’s actually happening in the world while the news about rockets, bombs, assassinations and terrorism takes up the front pages.

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. sly

    Good news? These are great times for America, and the world is at relative peace. There will always be battles in volatile regions like the middle east, and Russia and the US of course have jockeyed for geo-political position for 50+ years, but in general, these are good times.

    Thank you President Obama for avoiding war, setting record deficit reduction, killing our #1 enemy and keeping America safe from all foreign terrorist attacks.

    America has peace, health care for all, economic prosperity.

    Good times.

    August 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • George patton

      Really, sly? It would be far better if the U.S. and Russia got together to find solutions to some of these hot spots instead of antagonizing each other.

      August 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
      • libertyrose2001rosie

        Behind every silver lining is a dark cloud.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • sly

        I was happy with the US-Russian negotiated chemical weapons destruction in Syria, so these countries can work together.

        I don't think America needs to do much in Ukraine however, just like Russia doesn't need to interevene along the Mexican-US border. But yes, negotiate, use economic sanctions, and try to work closely with Russia on world issues, as both US and Russia have similar interests.

        August 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • libertyrose2001rosie

      Yes! Good times but you know the saying, good news is not news. The bad stuff, the sensational stuff, fills the headlines but how grand to have someone remind us of the good things going on.

      August 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • desertvoice

        St. Malachy has profesied that the end of the world is behind corner. This is bad news for me! Yet the CNN had cancelled Discus, so that people can keek sharing their views! CNN has been infiltrated by the enemies of God. CNN fears the Truth, like for instance that the U.S. is failing because of President Obama's stance in favor of women's right to abort against the Will of God!

        August 17, 2014 at 9:45 am |
  2. rey

    Iran is (and has recently been) good news .. both in the region and in the world.

    August 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ rey:
      Iran is now, and has been since the Shah, bad news.
      Maybe they would let you live there.

      August 14, 2014 at 6:42 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

        Just try telling that to the Iranian people who well remember what life was like under the horrific Shah, Joey. Besides, the overthrow of Shah Reza Pahlavi was great news back in 1978. He was just another U.S. backed tyrant who engaged in state terrorism!

        August 14, 2014 at 8:34 am |
  3. an observer

    While the mid-East is up in arms, beheadings, and people displaced in Iraq, this guy promotes how wonderful things look in Indonesia. Believe me, it would never had become a democratic country unless the population was overwhelmingly Muslim. So much for this apologist...

    August 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • Watching the Observer

      You hate Muslims. We get it. But that is a statement about YOU not about what the promising success of Indonesia which, as it happens, is more religiously diverse than the United States! (See CIA World Factbook).

      August 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
    • darren

      Have you actually been to Indonesia?

      August 14, 2014 at 2:42 am |
  4. RLTJ's

    Why not the bad news? Like, the Vatican, that means the pope, now has gone down to the level of desperate sick minds? He has approved U.S. airstrike now in Iraq, so says media report.

    That is like putting the Pope behind Assad and Netanyahu against evils. whoa.

    Either the pope is disgusting or the report is a hoax.

    August 15, 2014 at 12:13 am |
  5. RLTJ's

    I think the Pope has no time to entertain the idea of committing to a full blown religious war.

    August 15, 2014 at 12:16 am |
  6. A.Yeshuratnam

    Good news listed by Fareed Zakaria has not shown the bad news prevailing in ISIS occupied territories in Iraq.
    Even before the Pentagon started rescue operations, thousands of Yazidis had evacuated from the mountain each night over the last several days. It was a wrong message that the Yazidis were trapped on Iraq's Mount Sinjar and that the Pentagon had broken the siege. It is ridiculous to use the word ‘siege,' just to get cheap popularity. Pentagon had not encountered any ISI jihadist anywhere near Sinjar to “break the siege.” But Obama should not stop supplies to the Yazidis by misleading the world that they are in “better condition. “
    Obama has not uttered a single word about the Christians who are camping temporarily in Erbil. They have lost their homes, belongings and are now lying on roads. Obama shouldn't mislead the world in the matter of Christians also by saying they are "now in better condition.". Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako told ICC “Food, water,medicine, shelters,” the absolute basics to sustain life, is what hundreds of thousands desperately need. Local churches became the temporary housing site for hundreds of these families, but these were quickly filled leaving hundreds more to sleep on the streets. “There are 700 or 800 families who couldn’t find anywhere to sleep and are on the streets now,” a Christian leader from Erbil told ICC following the latest surge from Qaraqosh. If Obama is not prepared to help them, Christian countries such as Britain, Germany and France can give them asylum in European countries before the rampaging IS I terrorists reach Erbil. It may be recalled that Cameron and Sarkozy played a pivotal role in overthrowing Qadaffi in Libya.,while Obama was watching the bloodbath of Assad in Syria. Cameron was bold enough to acknowledge openly that Britain is a Christian country. Christians worldwide should try to give asylum to helpless stranded Iraqi Christians.

    August 15, 2014 at 8:03 am |
  7. Ferhat Balkan

    Good news! Gov. Rick Perry was indicted on two felony county for abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. I think it's time to celebrate 🙂

    August 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
  8. EA Marco Polo

    "The News" of Mexico, "Russian Times", "The Times of India", "China Daily" and "the Rio Times" are more comfortable than CNN and lots of US media, because they report the balanced news, but the US media only report negative world news, such as disaster, killing, unrest and scandal. The US new media are sick seriously, it lets US to look like a most immoral country.

    August 16, 2014 at 3:27 am |
  9. EA Marco Polo

    Recently significant good world news: Second rail is inaugurated on Tibet Province of China; soon a rail system will link Mainland Chin and Nepal. 4 Chinese industrial parks will be operated in India (Next month President Xi will visit India), In July Mainland China has a record trade surplus. India is celebrating her Independence Day; envoys from 150 countries attend the ceremony.

    Trade and friendship between Mainland China and South Korea are growing, possibly this year a free trade agreement will be signed by both countries. Mainland China will assist Pakistan to build 14 power projects. This year tourists from Mainland China travel to ROC Taiwan are double, Mainland Chinese students study in ROC Taiwan is 5 times than last years. ...... There are many good world news, but the sick US media just ignore them.

    August 16, 2014 at 3:27 am |
  10. EA Marco Polo

    [Evilest trick in the 21st century]

    The US government uses lies and violence to murder 100,000 innocent Iraqis (and 4500 US soldiers) to steal oil; it is evilest US scandal in the 21st century. Syrian government has 70% support from all Syrian citizens, but the US murders 90,000 innocent Syrian for building a puppet regime of Israel in Syria, even the US uses chemical weapons to make a fake accusation for military interfere.

    Brave Iraqis and Iraqi government both support Syrian government for justice, human right and democracy. So Obama and the US military complex cheat the world to support the ISIS secretly to make an Iraqi civil war for stopping Iraq's support on Syrian government.

    On the other hand the US government says that we support Iraqi government for controlling Iraqi military activity, and arms Christian Kurdish to destroy Iraqi unification. Another 20,000 innocent Iraqis (including women and children) are killed or will be killed by the US trick and violence.

    Death penalty or life jail should be the sentence to some members of Obama administration, immoral US media; some immoral European governments. This is evilest trick in the 21st century.

    August 16, 2014 at 3:29 am |
  11. EA Marco Polo

    [Iraq should get compensation from the immoral US]

    Thus the US is worst country on violating human right in the 21st century. The US also jails 2.2 million US citizens, about half of world prisoners; this is another big scandal. Crimes are flooding in the US. However Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya each should get an apology and compensation (US$ 11 trillion, 9 trillion, 3 trillion, 1 trillion) from the corrupt US government.

    Iraq (and all Iraqi citizens), Iran and Afghanistan all should support Syrian government for justice. Iraq, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan all should unite together to defeat the evil US trick.

    August 16, 2014 at 3:31 am |
  12. desertvoice

    I wouldn't be surprised if the world ends. It's not just St. Malachy that had this vision. Mine wasn't to be fair a vision in the proper sense, but it was a premonition. It happened when I visited the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome, where the portraits of all the Roman Popes are displayed. As I was observing the portraits, it caught my attention that there were no more spaces reserved in the place where the Popes are, except two. Out of the two remaining places, one since then was occupied by Pope Benedict, and the other by Pope Francis! I even commented to my friends about this, wondering whether it is time to rebuild the Basilica to create new spaces. But of course the other possibility is the end of the world!

    August 17, 2014 at 9:50 am |
  13. Christo

    Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, however, some anti-Semites use anti-Zionism as a kind of cover and entry-level recruiting tool. In addition, most anti-Semites see Zionism not as a modern movement to establish a Jewish state in Palestine

    August 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
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