Putin used his annual state of the nation speech—delivered just weeks before the March 18 presidential election that he is guaranteed to win—to tout Russia’s military might.
With the publication of the draft at this time, the EU takes the initiative and sets the agenda, outmaneuvering the UK, in a pattern similar to what we saw in the first phase of the negotiations. While the priority until this point had been the negotiations for the “exit” part of Brexit, the newly released draft implements key elements of the “divorce deal” agreed in December 2017 and lays the base for negotiating future relations.
Though based on the provisions decided by both UK Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU alone composed the draft withdrawal agreement. May has responded to its release, saying she rejects the document.
The election will be in part a key test of the Italian political system and how it evolves with a likely new conservative government coalition. This coalition may include anti-establishment political parties that call for changes in the country’s policies on immigration and the European Union (EU).
The election has the potential to send political shockwaves through Europe if the new political movements are unable to form governing majorities. In addition, political instability would also put renewed economic pressure on the country if interest rates on Italy’s rising public debt are increased above the current 2 percent.
She will try to grope her way forward in a major speech on March 2, even though she is still far from finding solutions likely to prove satisfactory to her governing Conservative Party, to Parliament, or to British voters—let alone to the EU itself.
At least, that’s what the group’s open letter in February reads. In it, the Taliban states it is imploring the American people and members of Congress to convince the Trump administration of the necessity for the talks.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on February 28 extended his own olive branch by offering to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political group as part of a proposed peace process. He said he was making the offer “without preconditions.”
Many Americans will recall vivid TV images from the 1990s of massacres in Sarajevo, the ferocious siege of Bihac, and the genocide at Srebrenica. Since those days of unspeakable horror, a fragile but thankfully enduring peace has held in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
Boris Nemtsov: A life remembered, a legacy celebratedThree years have passed since the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, but his legacy continues to inspire those who challenge Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian government in Russia.
Describing Nemtsov’s life and legacy, his close friend and fellow dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza said: “Every country, every nation has its good sides and its bad sides. Boris represented the best there is of Russia.”
Nemtsov was a governor, member of the Russian Duma, deputy prime minister, critic of the Kremlin, opposition leader, friend, and “the most decent person I’ve ever known,” said Kara-Murza, chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation.
The year was 1962. Xi Zhongxun was accused of supporting a novel that Mao opposed. For this crime he was stripped of his titles, demoted, and sent to work in a factory. His wife, Qi Xin, was forced to do hard labor on a farm.
Six years later, the younger Xi was among the millions of “intellectual youth” who were sent to the countryside for “re-education” during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which sought to purge the “impure” elements of Chinese society and preserve a communist ideology.
This is bombast. Officially, such concern may appear to rest on political, strategic, or military imperatives about NATO’s cohesion, but the real reason can only be one of two things: either dawning economic worry or ignorance about what is really at play—and possible—in Brussels on the opposite side of town from NATO.