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Royal Rumble

The Pope vs The Queen

The Daily Beast

Queen Elizabeth will come face-to-face with Pope Francis, an Argentine who has publicly criticized Britain for seizing the disputed Falkland Islands.

When Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth, two of the world’s best loved leaders, meet at the Vatican on Thursday, millions of fans will be expecting smiles, empathy and mutual respect, in short a bit of a love-in.The only catch is that the British monarch and the Argentine pontiff have recently positioned themselves very firmly on the opposite sides of an escalating and bitter diplomatic battle between the UK and Argentina that kicked off with a bloody war.

Crisis in Ukraine

Firing Back at My Ukraine Critics

Sergei Supisnky/AFP/Getty

If the United States is going to stand up to aggressors around the world its policies have to have a military dimension.

Crazy commenters of The Daily Beast unite! You have nothing to lose but your brains. Right, I’m also crazy for answering you. But I can’t resist a fight against commenters who don’t read, or can’t, or read only their own prejudices. And loonies aside, I owe explanations to the serious Beast readers who raised important issues about my argument, which was that to deter bad guys the U.S. needs a military dimension beyond economic sanctions and diplomatic slaps.

Hello Kitty

Japan’s Booming Adultery Industry

Mark Harris/Getty

It turns out Japanese married couples like sex as much as anyone, but not so much with each other.

In the last year headlines about how celibacy is trending in Japan have gained attention around the world: “No sex please, we’re Japanese,” reports the BBC. But, wait a minute. This is a country where an estimated two trillion yen ($19.3 billion) are spent each year on the legal sex industry. And now it looks like the land of the rising sun is also the land of rising adultery. Ashley Madison—the international web site for married people who want to fool around—is taking Japan by storm.

Shoe on the Table

Khrushchev’s Son: Crimea is Ours

Baz Ratner/Reuters

Sergei Khruschev, the son of the Soviet leader who gave Crimea to Ukraine, says that his father never intended to separate Crimea from Russia and Russia will never give it back.

When Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukrainian control in 1954, it was simply for logistical and symbolic reasons, according to his son Sergei. Now, he swears, Russia will never give it back.Sergei Khrushchev has been living in the United States since emigrating from the Soviet Union in 1991 and is a naturalized American citizen, but he speaks as if he is still in the Russian government. He views the ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich as an illegal seizure of the Kiev government by force and he insists that 96 percent of Crimeans voted to separate from Ukraine and join the Russian federation.

Afghanistan

How I’ll End Our Longest War

Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

An American military officer leaving on one of the last deployments to Afghanistan before the war ends, writes about his experiences in a new feature for The Daily Beast.

Editor’s Note:Here is an American military officer’s first hand account of war, how it’s fought and how it ends.Nick Willard is the pen name of a service member heading to Afghanistan on one of the final deployments in the closing days of America’s longest war. He will write what he sees in an ongoing feature for The Daily Beast that will appear as regularly as his schedule allows.To speak openly and freely, to tell the American people and the world of readers on the web about the truth as he finds it, he has chosen not to use his real name.

Boom

Six Taliban Killed With One Bullet

Steve Lewis/Reuters

The British military said it believes a lance corporal surpassed all previous records with one pull of the trigger.

A British sniper killed six Taliban fighters with a single bullet in a shot that has been hailed as the greatest since the invention of the gun.At a range of more than half a mile, the 20-year-old struck a terrorist who was rigged with explosives. The would-be suicide bomber’s vest detonated, killing five fellow fighters. Britain’s Ministry of Defense believes the shot has surpassed all previous records of its kind. “I’m sure there are tales of heroics from the Second World War which would rival it but certainly in recent memory no one has achieved such a thing,” a military official told The Daily Beast.

Silence = Death

Will Europe Betray Ukraine's Gays?

Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Ukraine’s gay activists were hoping a new, pro-EU government would distance itself from a homophobic Moscow. Now they’re facing a fresh obstacle: the European Union itself.

Last fall, Ukrainian gay activist Bogdan Globa eagerly joined his countrymen to protest then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s last-minute refusal to sign a trade and political agreement with the European Union. Gathering in Kiev’s Independence Square, or “Maidan,” the impromptu protest quickly transformed into a movement that, months later, led to Yanukovych’s ouster. For Globa and other gay activists, the decision to join the protests was an easy one.

Chutzpah

Will Obama Surrender Israeli Spy?

Baz Ratner/Reuters

For years President Obama has resisted Israeli requests to free Jonathan Pollard. Now with its peace process on the verge of collapse the White House is taking a second look at releasing Israel's most notorious spy.

The Obama administration, struggling for ways to keep the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks going, is considering doing something it swore it would never do: release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.An administration official confirmed to The Daily Beast that the possible release of Pollard, although not likely, is now on the list of items being discussed between Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as part of a formula whereby he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would both agree to extend peace talks past their April 29 deadline.

Femmes Politiques

French Women Do Get Votes

Thierry Chesnot/Getty

Anne Hidalgo, a Socialist, is the new mayor of Paris. Far-right Marine Le Pen strengthens her position in national politics. And President Hollande … Who?

France’s voters gave the phenomenally unpopular François Hollande a decisive dressing down on Sunday.Nationwide municipal elections were the French president’s first mid-term test. And his Socialist Party candidates predictably failed, a punishing defeat surprising only in its scope. Opposition conservatives, a mess in their own right, nevertheless managed unprecedented gains, while the far-right gained crucial new ground.After the fog of the vote—a dizzying affair that saw 926,068 candidates battle it out for mayor and council jobs in 36,000 towns over two rounds a week apart—two characters rise above the morass: two winning women, different as can be, heiresses apparent with a vengeance.

Oh, Kim

Kardashian Butts Into Syria Mess

Karwai Tang/WireImage

The notorious vixen has been in her share of controversies before—and had even supported the occasional dictator. But nothing like this.

On Sunday, sex tape vixen/reality TV starlet/entrepreneur Kim Kardashian took a break from the #belfies to wade into geopolitics—specifically, the ethically murky territory of the Syrian civil war.On Twitter, she made what seemed like a simple cry to save the citizens of Kessab, a town in Syria that’s been the scene of intense fighting in recent days. The tweet was even welcomed by one of the country's main rebel groups. But, as with all things Syria, the reality is far more complicated.

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