A photograph of a drowned 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach after his family failed to find refuge from the war in Syria seems to have finally gotten the world’s attention. The conflict has been an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe for more than four years. A quarter of a million are dead, and millions have been driven from their homes, either displaced within Syria or moved to flee abroad, where they take their chances on reaching shelter.
Mariupol, Ukraine It is late evening as we approach the second of three checkpoints on the road to the frontline city of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine. A vital port on the Azov Sea, Mariupol is heavily fortified by land and by sea.
“I try not to drive these roads after dark,” says Gena, who is taking me and my cameraman from Zaporizhia to visit the Jewish community of Mariupol. “It’s more dangerous at night.”
For the last several weeks, Air Force Secretary Deborah James has been touting the deployment of F-22 Raptor fighters – the best plane America owns – to Germany as “the strong side of the coin” in an effort to reassure Eastern Europeans who have seen their air space increasingly violated by Russian jets. “Russia’s military activity in the Ukraine continues to be of great concern to us and our European allies,” she said.
The latest salvo in a bizarre exchange of international sanctions has been fired. Russia has already taken its boycott of Western foodstuffs to theatrical extremes, bulldozing piles of cheese and destroying apples whose sole fault was their Polish origin. Now the government of Vladimir Putin seems to be turning on household cleansers as it tries to scour away the taint of Western business.
"Russia is a friendly, European country,” said President Vladimir Putin in a 2001 address to the Bundestag in Berlin. Putin told German lawmakers he applauded European integration, believed in the unity of European culture, and was convinced that no one had benefited from Europe’s divisions in the past. Then last November, speaking again to Germans in an interview for ARD, German national television—in sports coat and open collar—the Russian president lauded dialogue and diplomacy when it came to the crisis in Ukraine.
Traveling recently in what might be called “new frontline” states—Estonia, Ukraine, and Moldova—I was struck by the depth of concern I encountered about Russian propaganda. And not just propaganda aimed at the Russian population and neighboring countries. At a conference in Tallinn, a Politico reporter and experienced Russia hand who had just covered the parliamentary elections in Britain told me voters he’d interviewed in Wales and Scotland had brought up clearly identifiable pieces of propaganda spread by Russia’s state-owned global television and radio network, RT.
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a Republican candidate for president, will address the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, on Monday evening on her foreign policy outlook. In her speech, Fiorina will discuss how as president she would broker a "new deal" with Iran, call for expanding defense spending, and address China, whom she calls "our rising adversary."
You can watch her speech live at 9 pm ET here. Fiorina's remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
Religious conservatives are fighting back against allegations of homophobia.
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is “an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek[s] to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil society.”
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, "But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?"
Earlier today, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing to consider whether President Obama's pick to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., should be advanced to the Senate for a confirmation vote.
At that hearing, Gen. Dunford informed the committee:
"My assessment today is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security"
A Kiev-based Ukrainian friend, after meeting a delegation of young Russians, emails me: "totally terrible, young Russian diplomats. Manipulation, propaganda, gloating over victory in Eastern Ukraine, this new generation even worse than before. We will have big trouble with Russia for a very long time."