- Gideon Rachman wonders if 2014 could see a repeat of 1914 over the Pacific.
- The banking scandal at Monte dei Paschi di Siena has laid bare the difficulties of Mario Draghi’s mission — Michael Steen takes a look at the lessons for the ECB president.
- An illegal casino operator in Moscow has become a pawn in a struggle for dominance between two law agencies — despite admitting to his guilt, the Ivan Nazarov is outraged that he has been set free and reminisces about the days before he got phone calls from police officials demanding for chinchilla veterinarians.
- Chinese national oil companies are reselling increasing amounts of Venezuelan oil on the international market and the China Development Bank has become a source of foreign financing for Hugo Chávez, according to Matt Ferchen. But will a crisis in Venezuela be “the perfect opportunity to move away from a pattern of Chinese oil ties to controversial governments”?
- Hillary Clinton has “gone a long way to restoring America’s legitimacy as the leading global actor”, but George Packer thinks Obama will “need to give his next Secretary of State, John Kerry, the authority that he denied his last one, to put the country’s prestige on the line by wading deep into the morass.”
- Human-rights advocates were surprised by an alarming Justice department memo detailing the protocol for sending drones after US citizens, because it was unexpectedly broad.
- Since King Richard III’s body was discovered under a car park in Leicester, Amy Davidson has given some thought the way in which his bones were identified.
- Valentine’s Day is not far away and politicians are hoping their citizens will use the opportunity to procreate and keep the labour force up — Putin has even invited Boyz II Men to perform in Moscow.
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