10 Japanese comeback cars for 2012

Whatever happened to Japan’s plans to conquer the U.S. auto market? There’s a lot of talk about the revival of the Detroit Three (Ford’s dividend, Chrysler’s new life, GM’s small cars) but the once-feared Japanese Three and their smaller siblings are struggling. Pummeled by earthquakes at home and floods abroad, and punished by the strengthening of the Japanese yen, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have been pummeled this year. News of their activities has been pushed to the back pages while Hyundai, Kia, and German automakers dominate the headlines.

Remembering the many Václav Havels

FORTUNE — How should Václav Havel be remembered? Former Czech president and writer Vaclav Havel died on December 18, 2011. During my first encounter with him, in Prague in 1984, when everything seemed hopeless, I was struck by the man’s hedgehog resilience. Here was a rarity: an unusual figure, intense but witty, a clear-headed thinker and a wonderful writer, a courageous individual blessed with a razor-sharp sense of irony; a chain-smoking man of letters whose fate was politics and (most people still overlook this) an individual who had a genuine taste for it, and yet someone who taught the world, by example, about the grave dangers of unaccountable power. Two-thirds of Havel’s life was lived under conditions of dictatorship or totalitarian power. Against terrible odds, he managed to survive, until the so-called Velvet Revolution of 1989. That changed everything in his life. The upheavals of that year greatly complicated his choices. He became three figures: Havel the playwright dissident; Havel the politician; and Havel the global statesman. Let’s work backwards. After finally leaving political office in 2003, Havel carved out the role of global statesman. In many obituaries during the past few days, he’s been described as a giant and compared with figures like Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. The praise is understandable. He was indeed a global champion of democratic virtues. He stood for pluralism, openness, and integrity, and he wrote and delivered memorable speeches on subjects like the environment, globalization, and violence.