"Luckily, we’ve got good leadership for the coming economic storm: the White House is occupied by a man who’s ideologically flexible, listens to a wide variety of views, and understands that policy has to be based on careful analysis, not gut instincts. Oh, wait."
"A group of crooks arranged for Yeltsin to run Russia, and then Yeltsin looked the other way while the oligarchs robbed the country blind. It was the single largest theft in the history of crime. A large part of Putin’s popularity in Russia is based on the fact that he is perceived as standing up for Russia and the Russian people, something almost unheard of in the last thousand years of Russian history. A major part of his reputation is based on his attempts to jail the crooks and recover the stolen assets. "democrats take note.
"Without naming them, (Putin) speculated that responsibility might be laid at the door of Mr Litvinenko's associates in London, the Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky and Chechen militant Akhmad Zakayev, both of whom have received asylum in Britain."
'In Moscow there was growing consensus that the assassination was part of a power struggle between liberals in the regime and hardliners from the security services. Yulia Latynina, a leading commentator, said the polonium 210 "seems to have been left like a spy's calling card - not to prove to the world that Russia is run by the security services, but to prove this to Putin.""
* Robert Fisk: "My reservations about the French"
can you hear the wingnut heads exploding?
* guardian (also, scott):
"Ritscher had hoped his suicide by self-immolation - a symbolic act which has long been used as a political protest - would be a wake-up call for America, for which he was prepared to martyr himself. "We have become worse than the imagined enemy - killing civilians and calling it 'collateral damage', torturing and trampling human rights inside and outside our own borders." He wrote that Americans are "more concerned with sports on television and ring-tones on cellphones than the future of the world". The response to his death shows that, if nothing else, he was sadly right about that."
"The former head of Israel's army continued unimpeded with a trip to New Zealand yesterday after the country's attorney general rescinded a warrant issued for his arrest to face allegations of war crimes.
Moshe Yaalon, who was chief of staff until June last year, said that he was still in New Zealand despite the warrant for his arrest.
The decision by the Auckland district court on Monday last week was overruled on Thursday by the New Zealand attorney general, Michael Cullen."