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Vice President Mike Pence taking the oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, using a Bible owned by Ronald Reagan and used in his inaugurations.

Mike Pence takes the oath of office of Vice President using Reagan's Bible

- The Washington Times

The events of a Presidential inauguration are historic. And, given the thousands of cameras all pointed in the same direction, even small details of pageantry and formality are noted and recorded for history. Comparisons with past inaugurations are inevitable, and deviations from the norm are either celebrated or scoffed--depending on the eye of the beholder.

Moldovan President Igor Dodon attends a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Moldova's new president, who is visiting Russia on his first trip abroad, is voicing hope for rebuilding "strategic" ties with Moscow. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

While elites fiddle, Russia advances in East Europe

Not many Americans can locate Moldova, a tiny former Soviet republic with a mostly ethnic Romanian population bordered by Ukraine and Romania, on a map. Even fewer could tell you that Moldova was once part of Romania and won its independence with the fall of the Soviet Union, only to have Russia carve out a separatist ethnic Russian enclave called Transdniester, complete with Russian troops and recognized as independent only by the Kremlin.

Environmental lobbyists plan to turn up the head against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, as his confirmation hearings loom. (Associated Press)

Confirm Scott Pruitt at EPA

Quick question: Who is likely to have more impact on the American economy? Treasury Secretary-nominee Steven Mnuchin or Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt?

Image courtesy of Doug Stringer.

Q&A with Doug Stringer about 'Leadership Awakening'

Books on leadership often seem written by authors who gave little effort, simply regurgitating bland truisms and pithy quotes. Stringer gives plenty of principles, truisms, and potent quotes from leaders past and present. But this isn't a boilerplate book on leadership. Stringer invested himself in the writing and it shows. Pick up a copy and chew on it slowly; don't speed-read this one.

Joel Ng, 5, joins her dad, Ulane Eng (second from left), for meditation Sunday on the Mall as Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters mark the 10th anniversary of a Chinese crackdown on the spiritual movement. It has gained millions of followers since its 1992. founding. (By Astrid Riecken/The Washington Times/File)

Health and the art of meditation

While you most likely made healthy resolutions for this New Year to watch what you consume and to be more physically active, my hope too is that you take aim to cultivate habits that will help reduce chronic stress and anxieties in your life with a goal to increase happiness and overall life satisfaction ... with greater joy and peace!!

A Russian Marine aims his pistol during a Capability Demonstration at Manila's Rizal Park, Philippines on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. Russia is eyeing naval exercises with the Philippines and deployed two navy ships for a goodwill visit to Manila as Moscow moves to expand defense ties with the country. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Pushing back when Russia tests its limits

- The Washington Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin learned a valuable lesson in 2013, when President Obama laid down his famous "red line" against chemical weapons use in Syria — a problem that Mr. Putin "solved" and thus headed off an American attack on Moscow's longtime ally.