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- If Russia gets away with its incursion into Ukraine, other governments may decide defying America is getting less risky, writes Gideon Rachman.
- Play at being president-for-a-day to get under the skin of South America’s leaders as regional problems expose a lack of unity.
- London has impressed itself upon the world as an imperial metropole, a financial hub, a destination for migrants – and now as a subject of moral panic.
- The father of the boy responsible for the Sandy Hook killings in the US searches for answers.
- Development experts stand accused of empowering dictators and trapping millions in poverty.
A few weeks ago, even Europeans were paying little attention to events in Ukraine. Now the whole world is watching. This is because the Russian incursion into Ukraine is widely seen as a direct challenge to the US-led world order. If President Vladimir Putin gets away with it then other governments, such as China and Iran, may decide defying America is getting less risky.
Dozens of aircraft and ships are criss-crossing the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca to search for signs of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early on Saturday morning. And a galaxy of civil and military satellites and high-flying spy planes, capable of distinguishing objects as small as a football, are observing from high in the sky.
- Ten years ago Christine Spolar, FT investigations editor, reported on the Iraq war. She returned last month to find old colleagues and friends living in fear.
- China’s leaders love watching House of Cards because it confirms their perceptions of the workings of US government.
- Japan’s yakuza have seen their numbers decline for the first time in years: is it because of a police crackdown, or are they going underground?
- Francis Fukuyama looks at how effectively the US translates its economic power into foreign and security policies.
- Tatar leaders war of jihadi-style violence against Russia over its Crimea occupation.
- Lawrence Summers says the west should make modest promises to Ukraine and then strive to deliver more than it expects.
- 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.
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. Read more
The international crisis over
Russian troops are in effective control of many parts of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and the United States is threatening Russia with isolation if it doesn’t back down. In this week’s podcast, Gideon Rachman is joined by Neil Buckley, East Europe editor and chief US commentator Edward Luce to discuss how this dangerous situation is likely to develop.
As diplomatic discussions with Russia get underway, the fate of Crimea looms large. An obvious question is whether the west could or should accept the de-facto annexation of Crimea by Russia. Beyond simple appeasement of Russia, the argument to do this would be that Crimea has long been an oddity in Ukraine. It was part of Russia, until it was gifted to Ukraine by Kruschev in the 1950s. It is the only bit of Ukraine that has a Russian-speaking majority. Why not just hand it over? Read more