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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - European Union
In a move to further strengthen Kremlin control over Russian media, President Vladimir Putin ordered Monday the creation of a news agency that an influential lawmaker described as a "powerful propaganda" weapon and critics dubbed the "Ministry of Truth."
A top Democrat in Congress called on the Obama administration on Monday to stand firm with Ukraine's pro-democracy and pro-European Union demonstrators as the nation's president agreed to hold a "roundtable" with opposition groups who have led massive demonstration's in Kiev over the past 10 days.
Dozens of riot police in full gear positioned themselves outside the Kiev city administration on Monday, the deadline a court has set for the protesters occupying the building to leave.
Attempting to "liberate" Ukraine may be high-minded of the European Union, but it poses important questions ("Ukraine mass protests resume after government wins vote," Web, Dec. 3).
With Ukraine's president out of the country and his opponents still boiling with anger, the country's political tensions Tuesday appeared mired in a standoff as large protest rallies showed no sign of letting up.
In an operation involving 10 foreign law enforcement agencies, the Department of Homeland Security helped seize more than 700 websites selling counterfeit goods on Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year.
Croatians on Sunday are voting in a referendum that could ban gay marriages after conservative groups, backed by the influential Roman Catholic Church, demanded that the country's constitution define the matrimony as a union of a man and a woman.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to re-create a Russian sphere of influence in Ukraine, while President Obama is occupied with politics at home and in Iran. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been intimidated like Mr. Obama, and took the wrong side against eastern neighbors by proposing European Union-Russian talks about long-independent states. Congress and Mr. Obama should help Ukraine retain free markets, and the freedom and democracy of their people ("Protests continue in tense Kiev as Ukraine tilts away from West toward Moscow," Web, Nov. 25).
The U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan is prodding President Hamid Karzai to sign an agreement to allow U.S. troops to remain in the nation after 2014.
More than 100,000 demonstrators chased away police to rally in the center of Ukraine's capital Sunday, defying a new government ban on protests on Independence Square, in the biggest show of anger over the president's refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union.
In the words of its national anthem, Canada is standing strong and free against the Iranian nuclear agreement engineered by the Obama administration.
Since facing massive protests last winter, he has stifled nearly all domestic dissent and implemented widely criticized anti-gay laws as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Aspecter of populism seems to be haunting Europe. While the trend is not winning elections yet, London Financial Times' Gideon Rachman fears that "anti-establishment radicals do not need to capture the position of president or prime minister to gum up the system. Even if traditional pro-EU centrists continue to lead most national governments in Europe, their room for maneuver at EU summits is greatly reduced if populist parties are making big gains back home."
For more than a decade, Iran has successfully bought time from its nuclear detractors by negotiating in bad faith as it worked feverishly to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran now has bought six more months.
About 50,000 demonstrators rallied in the center of Kiev on Sunday to demand that the Ukrainian government reverse course and sign a landmark agreement with the European Union in defiance of Russia.