The most striking thing about everyday life in the Russia of Vladimir Putin (and make no mistake, it is Putin's Russia, despite the election of a new president, hand-picked by the great man) is the incredible corruption of the courts, the police, the special forces -- all the institutions that are supposed to uphold law and order in a democracy and that in Russia today have been transformed into a cancer that's devouring the state.
Medvedev, in a Reuters interview.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev played down differences with his predecessor Vladimir Putin in an interview with Reuters but the contrast in style and tone between the two men was striking.
Medvedev -- a longtime Putin ally -- presented himself as a continuity figure during the presidential election campaign this year and he repeated that mantra in the interview, saying the essence of Putin's policies would not change.
Medvedev playing dumb.
Chavez the next Fidel Castro?
A few years ago, when Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela, said that he wanted a new jet to replace the nearly thirty-year-old Boeing bequeathed to him by his predecessor, his critics raised an outcry. But Chávez went ahead with his plans. His new plane, which cost sixty-five million dollars, is a gleaming white Airbus A-319, with a white leather interior, seating for sixty passengers, and a private compartment. The folding seat-back trays have gold-colored hinges, and there is plenty of legroom.
The new age of autocratic leaders.
U.K. Queen finally strips the Zimbabwean dictator Mugabe of his knighthood.
Queen Elizabeth II has stripped Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s strongman president for nearly 30 years, of his honorary knighthood as a “mark of revulsion” at the human rights abuses and “abject disregard” for democracy over which he has presided, the British Foreign Office announced Wednesday.
It's about time. Now that business is over with, it's time to actually do something to solve the Zimbabwean fiasco.
Foreign Policy magazine (along with The Fund for Peace) has just released The Failed States Index of 2008.
When troops opened fire in the streets of Mogadishu in early May, it was a tragically familiar scene in war-torn Somalia. Except on this day, soldiers weren’t fighting Islamist militias or warlords. They were combating a mob of tens of thousands rioting over soaring food prices.
Just another Wednesday.