1. PRETTY PLEASE

    U.S. to France: Don't Sell Russia Ships

    Ho New/Reuters

    For four years, the U.S. has been urging France not to go ahead with the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia, and on Tuesday the U.S. again reiterated its opposition to the sale, especially in light of Russia's annexation of Crimea and massing of 40,000 troops on Ukraine border. During Tuesday's visit, the French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said his government will decide in October whether to sell Russia the ships, but noted that he believes France has maintained the correct balance between "dialogue and firmness" in dealing with Russia. The sale, which would pay France $1.6 billion, is being held up as an instance of European countries putting business with Moscow ahead of much-needed unity in standing up to Vladimir Putin.

    Read it at New York Times