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  • New Russian order: After presidency, yet another role for Putin?

    New Russian order: After presidency, yet another role for Putin?As Vladimir Putin's fourth, and almost certainly final, six-year term as president heads into its second year, the prospect of a Russia without him is becoming real, if not yet urgent. Inevitably, some are talking up schemes to keep Mr. Putin – and the relatively stable status quo he guarantees – in some position of having the final word on critical matters. “In any authoritarian system, the most dangerous moment is the transition of power,” says Olga Kryshtanovskaya, head of the sociological think tank Kryshtanovskaya Laboratories, and Russia's top elite-watcher.


  • After Nairobi attack, Somalis in Kenya cautiously hope for unity

    After Nairobi attack, Somalis in Kenya cautiously hope for unityAbdimalik Anwar was sipping a cup of coffee at the popular Nomad Palace Hotel in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood on January 15 when a friend called to ask if he had heard the news. A few miles away, militants linked to the terror group Al Shabab had stormed 14 Riverside, an upscale hotel and office complex, and the death toll was quickly rising. In 2013, when the Somalia-based Al Shabab had attacked the nearby Westgate Mall, some Kenyans had quickly turned their anger on the country’s large community of Somalis.


  • Art of the deal: In politics, Trump finds negotiations a different ballgame

    Art of the deal: In politics, Trump finds negotiations a different ballgameMany of the steps businessman Trump and his coauthor lay out in their 1987 bestseller reflect the president’s aggressive approach to negotiation today: Think big. Over the weekend, Mr. Trump got a taste of just how difficult negotiating can be in Washington. As the partial government shutdown over border-wall funding entered its fifth week, Trump offered what he called a “common-sense compromise”: temporary protections for “dreamers” and certain other immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion for the wall.


  • Dousing the fires of corruption

    Dousing the fires of corruptionSometimes the battle against corruption is driven by more than righteous indignation at the guilty. On Jan. 22, for example, Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, began a tour of municipalities where theft from gasoline pipelines is high. Instead of cracking down on such local thieves – most of them impoverished farmers – Mr. López Obrador, or AMLO as he is known, plans to offer them an alternative.