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Darth Vader Running For Parliament In Ukraine

Darth Vader Ukraine

Among the candidates in today’s parliamentary elections in Ukraine is a Dark Lord of the Sith: One candidate in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections hopes to bring voters to the dark side: Darth Alekseyevich Vader. Dressed in full Star Wars regalia, Vader prowls the streets of Kiev atop his black campaign van wooing voters with promises to […]

More Good Ebola News

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC we find that : 1)  Nigeria has been declared Ebola free Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a "spectacular success story". Nigeria won praise […]

Germany Promises Expanded Military Role But Its Military Isn’t Ready

ursula-von-der-leyen-auf-dem-nato-flugplatz-hohn-

Germany’s new defense minister has promised a more robust role but lacks the ability to back her words with action.

After all, the Queen is a Dog Person

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Via the BBC:  David Cameron to apologise to Queen over ‘purred’ remark Speaking in New York, Mr Cameron told Mr Bloomberg he had phoned the Queen to tell her the result. “She purred down the line,” he said. “I’ve never heard someone so happy.”

Let the Games Begin! (Institutional Reform Edition)

travel-suitcase

Now on to solving the complex puzzle of the post-referendum UK.

Catalonia Secession Movement Moves Forward

People hold "estelada" flags, Catalan separatist flags, during a gathering to mark the Calatalonia day "Diada" in central Barcelona

Despite seeing the effort fail in Scotland, Catalans say they intend to move forward with their own independence effort.

Scots Reject Independence, But The United Kingdom May Never Be The Same

Scotland and UK flags

The United Kingdom will stay united, but it may never be the same again.

Today in Comparative Ballots (“Independence or not” Edition)

election-voter-people

One of these ballots is legit. The others, not so much.

Final Election Eve Poll In Scotland Finds ‘No’ Leading By Six Points

UK and Scottish flags

As this post is being written, voters in Scotland have been heading to the polls for roughly seven hours, and polls will remain open until 10pm local time, or 5pm U.S. Eastern time. By all accounts, turnout is expected to be quite high, and neither side is claiming that they are assured of victory. However, […]

Why Did England Allow This Vote?

travel-suitcase

The thought they’d win big and silence the Scottish separatists. They were wrong.

On Eve Of Vote, Anti-Independence Forces Have Slight Lead In Scotland

Scotland and UK flags

It’s all over but the voting in Scotland.

Some Observations on the Scotland Independence Referendum

UK and Scottish flags

Thoughts on the Scottish referendum (and on the issue of thresholds and decision-making).

Obama’s Anti-ISIS Coalition Seems To Exist Only In His Mind

obama-isil-speech

Despite the President’s assurances of an international coalition, the rest of the world doesn’t seem all that interested in joining the fight.

Scottish Independence Becoming More Likely?

Scotland and UK flags

With just nine days to go, it’s anyone’s guess how the Scottish Independence vote will turn out.

Denmark’s Bestiality Brothels?!

travel-suitcase

Bestiality and prostitution are legal in Denmark. And not just separately.

Russia Has Invaded Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

A major escalation.

UK Poorer Than All US States Except Mississippi

usa-uk-puzzle

Alabamians like to exclaim, “Thank God for Mississippi.” Perhaps it’s time for that slogan to cross the Pond.

Well, Everybody Makes Mistakes…

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Via the BBC:  Captured Russian troops ‘in Ukraine by accident’

Russia’s Sanctions Against The West Are Hurting Russians More Than The West

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

Russia’s retaliatory sanctions against the West are  is having an impact on the average Russian’s food budget: Russia’s embargo on imported Western food is hitting its own people, as food prices in Moscow shops have jumped by up to 6% in just a week. Moscow officials say frozen fish prices in the capital’s major supermarkets have […]

Germany Ready To Take A Harder Line Toward Russia Over Ukraine?

German Russian Flags

The New York Times’ Alison Smale notes that the Ukraine crisis seems to be finally causing the Germans to reconsider their country’s relationship with Russia: BERLIN — Over recent months, something significant has happened in Europe: In the crisis over Ukraine, Germany has assumed leadership not just in its familiar fashion of trying to coax Russia […]

Scottish Independence Losing In The Polls

Scotland and UK flags

If recent polling is to be believed, the bid for Scottish independence is going to go down in flames.

NATO: “High Probability” Russia Will Invade Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

The rebels in eastern Ukraine continue to suffer setbacks, and Russia is massing troops on the border again.

Ukrainian Forces Reportedly Have Rebels In Donetsk Surrounded

Russia Ukraine Flags

End game? Or the potential spark of a wider war?

Italian Senate Reform?

Italian-flag

Institutional reform does take place in other democracies.

Russia Extends Edward Snowden’s Asylum For Three More Years

Edward Snowden 2

Edward Snowden will be allowed to stay in Russia for at least the next three years: MOSCOW — Edward J. Snowden, the American intelligence contractor who published a raft of secret documents and then fled to Russia, has been granted a three-year residence permit, his lawyer announced Thursday. Anatoly G. Kucherena, the lawyer, told a […]

Russia Imposes Sanctions Of Its Own

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

In response to the multiple rounds of sanctions that the West has imposed in response to Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, Russia has banned the importation of a broad range of Western food and agricultural products: MOSCOW — Russia announced on Thursday that it was banning the import of a wide range of […]

Scottish Independence Referendum A Nailbiter

travel-suitcase

Scottish independence may be more likely than many think.

New Sanctions Announced Against Russia, But It’s Unclear Russia Will Care

Russia Ukraine Flags

The U.S. and Europe have announced a new round of sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, but it’s not clear that the Russians will be motivated to change course.

Ukraine Is A Test For Europe. Does It Have The Will To Even Make The Effort To Pass?

Ukraine Russia European Union Flags

What the West does in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine is largely up to Europe, not the United States.

Initial Flight 17 Investigation Finds Evidence Consistent With Missile Strike

Malaysia Air Flight 17 Crash Scene

No surprises so far.

World War One And Ukraine

Ukraine Flag

History matters.

Russia Getting Ready To Escalate In Ukraine?

Russia Ukraine Flags

Things are getting serious in eastern Ukraine.

Russians Are Getting A Very Different Version Of The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Story

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

If you live in Russia, you’re getting a different version of the story of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Russians Really, Really Like Vladimir Putin, And That Makes Ending The Ukraine Crisis Harder

Putin Smirk

Vladimir Putin has become immensely popular in Russia again, and its not hard to figure out why.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 And The Future Of The Conflict In Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

Yesterday’s events are likely to be a game changer, but how the game plays out depends largely on how Europe reacts.

Italian Appeals Court Overturns Berlusconi Conviction On Underage Sex Charges

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had his June 2013 conviction on underage sex charges overturned by an Italian appeals court: ROME — An appeals court in Milan on Friday overturned the conviction of the former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, for paying for sex with a minor, and revoked his seven-year prison sentence […]

Why Were Commercial Jets Flying Over Eastern Ukraine To Begin With?

Ukraine Airspace After MH17

Basically, the answer is that nobody really thought there was much of a risk that a plane could be shot down.

U.S. Intelligence Sources Confirm Malaysia Airlines Flight Hit By Surface-To-Air Missile

Malaysia Air Flight 17 Crash Scene

Someone took down a Boeing 777 over Ukraine today.

Malaysia Airlines 777 Crashes In Eastern Ukraine, May Have Been Shot Down

Malyasia Airlines 777

Another incident involving a Malaysia Airlines 777, but this one could be far more serious.

There Is No Such Thing as Europe

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The English-speaking and Scandinavian countries are very different.

Sending Europe Mixed Messages

nato-ramussen-obama

My latest for The National Interest, “Europe’s Free Ride on the American-Defense Gravy Train,” has posted.

Tally me Banana?

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Cocaine valued at £25m found in banana delivery Cocaine with an estimated street value of £25m has been found hidden in a consignment of bananas from Colombia. Scotland Yard said 150kg of the drug was found packed into plastic bananas following an "intelligence-led" operation. Day-o, indeed.

Vladmir Putin Looks To Be Throwing The ‘Pro-Russian’ Ukrainian Separatists Under The Bus

Vladimir Putin Sunglasses

In the end, the separatists in eastern Ukraine have always been expendable as far as Vladimir Putin is concerned.

Implementation Of Europe’s ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ About As Absurd As You’d Expect

Google Privacy

Judging by the early results, the so-called “Right To Be Forgotten” recently created by Europe’s highest court is creating more problems than it will solve.

Yes, We Spy On Germany. Big Deal.

Obama Merkel

There’s a new round of allegations about American spying on Germany.

Institutional Design and Governance

constitution-preamble-quill-pen

A piece at Foreign Policy provides a chance to give some thought to institutions.

Barriers to US-Europe Trade Deal Remain

europe-usa-eu-flags

A US-EU free trade zone is a no-brainer. But the devil is in the details.

Ukrainians Score Big Victory Over Separatists

Russia Ukraine Flags

Ukrainian forces have recaptured the city of Slovyansk from pro-Russian separatists.

Heavy Fighting Returns To Eastern Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

The cease fire called by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is officially over: MOSCOW — Heavy fighting resumed in eastern Ukraine early Tuesday, including artillery shelling around the rebel-controlled city of Slovyansk, shortly after President Petro O. Poroshenko declared an end to a 10-day cease-fire and ordered government forces to renew their effort to squash the […]

Sarajevo and Europe, 100 Years Later

Gavrilo Princip

A century later, the shots fired in Sarajevo 100 years ago still echo.

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