Hawkish talk by U.S. politicians and Putin-as-Hitler comparisons are turning the crisis in Crimea into a powder keg that could harm our allies in the region.
Ukraine Faces a Dangerous BinaryAs Crimea’s March 16 referendum approaches, Russian troops are again amassing in the largest influx since the escalation last week, which placed the Ukrainian region under the Kremlin’s control almost over night. AP reports described amphibious military ships unloading some 200 military vehicles with heavily armed soldiers in eastern Crimea on Friday night. Then on Saturday, pro-Russian troops fired warning shots to prevent an OSCE military mission from entering Crimea form the north.
A new survey of Aleppo’s neighborhoods shows ISIS roundly defeated and Assad holding steady—but possibly losing civilian support.
Syria is in an escalating stalemate, with little prospect of victory for either side and steadily increasing violence. And few have experienced the peril of this punishing violence like the residents of Aleppo.In the past month, regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on their own citizens, while talks in Geneva served only to show how intractable are the two sides’ negotiating positions. And in a series of local surveys we conducted across Aleppo, a growing number of civilians in Syria’s largest city believed “no one” was their most legitimate representative.
The crisis in Crimea shows that even the strongest U.S. land forces wouldn’t provide a military option for the President. It’s time to shrink the Army.
It was not surprising that the mass media response to the 2015 defense budget was that it would result in “the smallest Army since before World War II.” It would have been a shock had anyone continued: “and it’s a good thing.” But it is—and Russia’s current actions in the Crimea do not change that fact.Reversing the early-2000s growth in land forces is a start on what has to be a 20-year effort to forge a military that’s actually relevant for the future.
Feminism may be a dirty word in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, but the punk artists of Pussy Riot and the topless crusaders of Femen are among the few willing to stand up to the former KGB czar.
Feminism has long been a dirty word in Russia. Just ask Svetlana Smetanina, a journalist for the state-owned Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper who, in a 2010 article, voiced an opinion that many Russians seem to share: women who self-identify as feminists are harpies, she wrote, “unfulfilled in their personal lives and bent on revenging themselves on men for their own unhappiness.”Smetanina’s op-ed is representative of the outright disdain in Russia toward feminists—an attitude on full display in recent months, crystallized in the Western mind by images of the punk art collective Pussy Riot being whipped by Cossacks in Sochi and of brutes in Crimea violently choking young, topless activists from the radical group Femen, whose bare-breasted protests against patriarchy and dictatorship (in this case Putin’s invasion of eastern Ukraine) have made them media darlings in the West.
The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 remains shrouded in mystery, and the hunt for clues to explain its tragic disappearance will be arduous.
Whatever brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 370—mechanical or intentional—the search for the Boeing 777’s remains will be daunting. And the forensic investigation that follows will be even more challenging.It’s astonishing that two days after an airplane with 239 people aboard disappeared from the radar confusion reigns over where exactly it was at 1.30am local time Saturday. Malaysian officials have added to the mystery by reporting that, after scanning radar traces, they thought the 777 may have made a turn indicating that it was returning to Kuala Lumpur.
Sure, Viktor Yanukovych might have murdered protesters and Vladimir Putin might have invaded a sovereign country. But what about Hiroshima? And the genocide of Native Americans?
Readers of a certain vintage will likely recall the oleaginous, Brooklyn-accented Vladimir Pozner, an American citizen domiciled in Moscow who regularly popped up on television in the waning days of the Cold War, propagandizing on behalf of the Kremlin. Pozner was a rather impressive practitioner of whataboutism, the debate tactic demanding that questions about morally indefensible acts committed by your side be deflected with pettifogging discussion of unrelated sins committed by your opponent’s side.
Japan’s feared and resilient crime syndicates the yakuza have seen their numbers decline for the first time in years, but is that because of stricter laws or are they just going underground? By Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky
The number of yakuza, Japan’s organized crime group members, hit its lowest record since the country’s first anti-organized crime laws passed in 1992, the National Police Agency announced this week. The number of yakuza had hovered around 80,000 for almost 18 years up to 2011 but the nationwide criminalization of paying the yakuza or doing business with them has dealt a blow to these quasi-legal organizations. However, like many things in Japan, the statistics and the reality are always slightly askew.
An Italian and an Austrian were listed among the missing passengers of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370—but both are alive, and the victims of a curious identity theft by imposters who bought their tickets for the missing flight together.
Thirty-seven-year-old Luigi Maraldi of Cesena, Italy, was as surprised as anyone to read that he was among the missing passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished from radar about a third of the way through a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing during the early hours of Saturday morning. His Italian passport number had been stolen in Thailand several months ago, and he had reported it to the Italian authorities, who issued him a replacement.
Roma schoolchildren in the EU are more likely to be mislabeled as 'special-needs' and funneled into schools that handicap their futures.
In Europe today, walls are going up everywhere to keep the Roma, also known as ‘gypsies’, firmly shut out. Some of these are made of bricks and mortar, like the so-called ‘Anti-Roma Wall’ in Košice, the European City of Culture of 2013, which made headlines last year for separating Roma settlements from neighboring ‘white’ communities. Others, like attempts to construct barriers limiting free movement of labor within the EU, are less tangible but equally worrying, especially in a continent where 1,500,000 Roma are estimated to have been murdered during the Holocaust.
Flight 370 Changed Course
And its transponder turned off.More
Sweden Journo Gunned Down in Kabul
Suggests growing threat for foreigners.More
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
Cuba, Rodman Help Kim Evade Bans
North Korea ignores UN sanctions.More
'Bandits' Booted Ukraine Ex-Prez
Claims removal was unconstitutional.More
Iranian Got Flight 370 Mystery Tix
No debris has been found yet.More
Bestselling author Anchee Min pens a second memoir about her long, hard road to success in the U.S. Min will join Tina Brown at Women in the World in Los Angeles Friday, March 14—watch the webcast on The Daily Beast at 3:45PM EST.