Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

Diplomatic response to Syrian crisis in the balance and elections in Uttar Pradesh

With a diplomatic response to the crisis in Syria in the balance at the United Nations, Middle East correspondent Michael Peel, who recently visited Syria, and Middle East editor Roula Khalaf join Shawn Donnan to discuss the situation.
And, as India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, goes to the polls, FT south Asia bureau chief James Lamont and James Fontanella-Khan explain the importance of the election and the risk faced by the Congress party and the scion of the Gandhi dynasty, Rahul Gandhi, in particular.

Vladimir Putin’s public appearances are always interestingly theatrical. His performance yesterday at the Russia Forum, here in Moscow, was characteristically peculiar. At times, Putin was all swagger. At other times, he seemed rather uncertain. At one agonising point, he lost his place in his notes. I was told later that this only lasted for ten seconds. It felt like ten minutes.

What was most interesting, however, was his interaction with the foreign visitors, who had the dubious privilege of sharing the stage with him. (I was in the audience.) Putin was clearly keen to show off his intellect. He argued at length that the world’s economic problems were a crisis of over-production. This sounded to me like re-heated Leninism. Paul Krugman, the Princeton economics professor, sharing the stage with him, fairly politely refuted the “over-production” argument – which I’m not sure you are meant to do, when the Tsar is outlining how the world works. Read more