Daily Archives: March 6, 2014

By John Thornhill

Look at Ukraine’s polling data and it is hard to avoid the conclusion that even if Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘wins’ Crimea he runs a far bigger risk of ‘losing’ Ukraine. 

  • Having persuaded the world that it now faces a terrorist threat, Beijing may discover find that “Wars on terror” are hard to win, says the FT’s David Pilling.
  • China’s rubber-stamp parliament meeting started off with war being waged on pollution and the war of words with Japan getting uglier.
  • Evan Osnos at the New Yorker looks at the dangers in China’s ethnic divide: “an emerging argument in Chinese policy and scholarly circles has come to see the failure of the Soviet Union as a failure to manage ethnic unrest.”
  • In Ukraine, eastern cities are bridling at Kiev’s interim rulers while in Crimea pro-Russian militias are filling the power vacuum.
  • Time reports on an unusual example of interfaith cooperation in Egypt – weekly exorcisms where Muslims and Christians are briefly united in a fight against demons.

 

Tony Barber

Orient Express

I was passing through eastern Croatia the other day and found myself in Vinkovci, a pleasant town not far from the Danube river border with Serbia. As any Agatha Christie enthusiast will tell you, Vinkovci is the place in Murder on the Orient Express whereSamuel Ratchett, a shady American traveller, is bumped off while the famous train is stuck in a snowdrift.