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.
Once an obscure party, the Right Sector helped win the battle for the Maidan—and are now eyeing parliament in a bid to stay relevant.
KIEV—They are burly, muscular men, reminiscent of the Soviet era with their strong Slavic features and unsmiling demeanor. The Praetorian Guard protecting the top leaders of Ukraine’s far-right movement Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) wouldn’t appreciate the comparison—they have dedicated themselves to defending their sacred motherland of Ukraine from Russia and on Friday, their leaders announced they are not ruling out deploying in Crimea, if the confrontation over Ukraine’s contested peninsula escalates.
Contradicting previous statements about gays, the foremost Tibetan Buddhist’s peace-and-love message now includes same-sex couples.
It’s not every day that a 78-year-old man comes out in favor of same-sex marriage, particularly when that septuagenarian happens to be His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. In an interview on Ora.tv’s Larry King Now show, the exiled spiritual leader offered a matter-of-fact endorsement of gay marriage: “If two people—a couple—really feel that way is more practical, more sort of satisfaction, both sides fully agree, then OK.
Russia’s sketchy justifications for moving on Crimea call to mind a century’s worth of false or flimsy excuses great powers have used to justify invasions.
Vladimir Putin justifies Russia’s military presence in Crimea as the only defense against gangs of neo-Nazi hooligans who destroyed the rightful, i.e., Russia-friendly, government in Kiev and are now imperiling Ukraine’s Russian-speaking citizens. Most of what Putin and his henchmen have offered by way of evidence to defend Russian aggression is transparently propagandistic, such as supposed news footage showing Ukrainians clamoring to cross the border into Russia (in fact, they were clamoring to get into Poland).
In a gripping day of testimony that could shed light on the athlete’s relationship patterns, Pistorius’s ex-girlfriend testified about his penchant for sleeping with his gun, and his fear of strange noises at night.
It is clear at this stage that there are three definitive subsets of testimony starting to emerge as the Oscar Pistorius trial progresses. The most obvious is the testimony surrounding details of the night of the murder, given by neighbors and security personnel in close proximity to Pistorius’s house at Silverwood Estate. Soon, perhaps as early as next Monday, we’ll start to hear details regarding forensics and police records, which will either serve to substantiate or undermine those accounts (or render them completely useless, given the fact that the South African police apparently botched the crime scene so spectacularly).
That's what happens, it seems, when you ask some simple questions outside RT's Washington headquarters.
What would possess an American to work for a Russian propaganda outlet, especially now that the world is on the brink of a potential war in Eastern Europe? I asked that question of about two dozen people coming in and out of the Washington headquarters of RT, the Kremlin-funded television network that has become infamous in recent days for whitewashing Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. No one would answer me directly. Instead, RT called the local cops on me.
Russia Blocks Opposition Websites
For sparking "illegal activity."More
Satellite Says Plane Kept Flying
For hours after last location.More
China Arrests Three Journalists
After they reported on self-immolation.More
Merkel Wags Finger at Putin
Warns of “massive damage.”More
Indian Diplomat's Charges Dropped
Had sparked outrage in India against U.S.More
Jerry Boykin, a retired Lieutenant General and rightwinger, spouted anti-Semitic “jokes” and accused Obama of supporting al-Qaeda at a conservative Christian conference.