Siberia, the vast region with the once terror-inducing name, was singularly failing to live up to its fearsome reputation this warm autumn afternoon on the banks of the Angara River.
In a world full of surprises -- the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the weakness in the Chinese economy, the battles within the European Union, the making of the Iran deal, the slide in the American stock market -- one of the greatest surprises of all has been the sudden rebirth of Russian power under Vladimir Putin.
No doubt, the bombastic Donald is an unlikely president. Yet what may be most extraordinary about his campaign is that on foreign policy, at least, he may be the most sensible Republican in the race.
President Barack Obama and Governor Jerry Brown have both been pushing the envelope of efforts to bring climate change under control and running up against major ingrown opposition to their efforts.
This account was compiled from an interview done by ADST in 1995 with Kempton B. Jenkins, who was posted to Embassy Moscow during this tense time and recounts Ambassador to the Soviet Union Llewellyn E. Thompson's (aka "Tommy") meetings with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrey Gromyko.
There were only a few things wrong with the massive parade today in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day. The folks doing the celebrating only tangentially represent the Chinese who most actively resisted the Japanese invaders. And the celebration itself, meant to signify China's emerging superpower status, fell a little flat.
BEIJING -- China's enhanced transparency lends an excuse for some to sensationalize the "China Threat." In fact, China has reiterated that it's an internationally accepted practice to showcase advanced weapons and equipment in a parade. It is a reflection of the level of military modernization which signals a positive energy that China will maintain world peace together with others and it is not directed against any other country.
Washington obviously intends sanctions to cause economic hardship, but for what purpose? In the early 1990s Khartoum supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq against America and dallied with Islamic radicalism, even inviting Osama bin Laden to stay. However, that practice ended after 9/11.
Diplomats working in the USSR had to contend with a wide range of difficulties -- poor bilateral relations, KGB surveillance, tough living conditions, Russian winters. For those serving in 1977, you could add one more thing to that list -- a massive fire.
Public space is shrinking in China for discussion of "Western" views. But "contrary to the general crackdown, North Korea policy seems to be an exception," a U.S. diplomat told me on my recent trip to China. One hears plenty of criticism of Pyongyang.
Crowdfunding could be one way forward for a more stable Greece, whether or not the current bailout deal works. We could just sit and wait and hope for Greece's policymakers, other world leaders and the troika to figure things out - or we could take control.
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In Russia, thousands of government-funded clubs are producing what is called "military-patriotic education" for children. Accepting both boys and girls, these clubs teach them military exercises, some of which employ heavy military equipment.
The collapse in stock markets and the surge in the migrants flooding into Europe captured August headlines. There are many underlying causes for each phenomenon, all linked. Unprecedented flows of illicit money are damaging most economies. Investors are fleeing this, as are migrants.
SEOUL -- Any future war in Asia will not be about conflicting interests, but "a cultural war for mutual recognition."
Khamenei holds two stances on the U.S. -- one in private, and one in public -- for the purpose of preserving his legitimacy. When speaking in public, Khamenei's speeches and statements clearly characterize his distrust towards the "Great Satan." Khamenei does this for multiple reasons.